Acclaimed Chef Jonathan Benno Joins All-Stars

Posted: June 28, 2018

BlueStar® is thrilled to announce the addition of Chef Jonathan Benno to our All-Star team.  The acclaimed Michelin Star chef who has worked in many of America’s most renowned restaurants, from The French Laundry to Daniel and more recently, Lincoln, wanted to bring the same level of restaurant performance to his home kitchen. When it came time to renovate his Hastings-on-Hudson, NY family home, he chose a full suite of BlueStar® professional style appliances.

All-Star Chef Jonathan Benno in his BlueStar kitchen
Photo credit: Evan Sung

Chef Benno’s new home kitchen appliances are designed to work seamlessly together, from cooking to cooling, including a 36” All Burner Nova Series range, 36” ProLine hood and a 36” Built-In Refrigerator. Benno customized his stainless steel range with cobalt blue knobs (one of the 750+ color options offered by BlueStar) and loves its unsurpassed power and performance.

The searing 22,000 BTU burners on the Nova Series range from BlueStar
Photo credit: Evan Sung

Besides cooking meals for the family, Chef Benno has been using his BlueStar® equipment to test recipes for his newest projects: two restaurants opening this summer inside the Evelyn Hotel in Manhattan’s NoMad District: Leonelli Taberna, open now, and Leonelli Focacceria e Pasticceria, an in-house bakery opening this July (serving variously topped and filled focaccia plus Italian sweets). Both restaurants were inspired by Rome’s venerable Roscioli, a combination deli-wine bar-restaurant that operates its own bakery. A signature fine dining restaurant, Benno, will open later this fall.

The extra-large oven capacity on BlueStar freestanding ranges
Photo credit: Evan Sung

We had to opportunity to spend some time with Chef Benno in his home kitchen and watch him masterfully craft some incredible dishes. One of the signature items on the Leonelli Taberna menu is lasagna verde – found in the pasta al forno section. Below is the delectable recipe for this dish, the recipe is complicated, but absolutely worth it. The other option is to visit Leonelli Taberna and order this from the menu! Visit to make a reservation today.


Lasagna Verde

(serves 6 people)
Bolognese- 4 cups
Fonduta- 3 cups
Parm, grated- 1/3 cup
Spinach Pasta Dough-see recipe below for 6


Spinach Pasta Dough – Ingredients
Pasta Fresca Flour- 1 ½ cups
Durum Flour- 1 ½ cups
Fresh Spinach- 1 ¼ cups
Eggs- 5 whole

Spinach Pasta Dough – To Make
1. Puree the spinach and the eggs in blender until smooth.
2. In a bowl measure all the dry ingredients. Place the dry ingredients in the mixer bowl fixed with the paddle attachment.
3. On medium speed slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix for five minutes until well combined.
4. Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook and work the dough for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the mixer and wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
5. Divide the dough in half. Keep one half on the work surface, covered with a kitchen towel to prevent it from drying. Set up your pasta machine alongside another work surface. Lightly flour the work surface with some of the reserved sieved flour. Using a rolling pin, flatten the other dough half into a rectangle thin enough to go through the rollers at the widest setting. Pass the dough through the rollers once, then lay the resulting ribbon down on the work surface and flour it lightly. Fold into thirds lengthwise to make a rectangle and flour both sides lightly. Flatten the dough with the rolling pin until it is thin enough to go through the rollers again. With one of the two open edges going first, pass the dough through the rollers nine more times at the widest setting; after each time, flour, fold and flatten the dough as described. After ten trips through the wide rollers, the dough should be completely smooth and supple.
6. Arrange the finished pasta sheets on the prepared baking sheets and cover with kitchen towels to prevent drying. Repeat the entire process with the second half of the dough. Cut the pasta by hand or machine as desired.

All-Star Chef Jonathan Benno in his BlueStar kitchen
Photo credit: Evan Sung

Bolognese – Ingredients

  • Ground Beef – 1 cup
  • Ground Pork – 1 cup
  • Ground Veal – 1 cup
  • Pancetta, ground – 1/4 cup
  • Red Onion, fine chop – 1/2 of medium onion
  • Spanish Onion, fine chop – 1/2 of medium onion
  • Tomato Paste – 2 TBSP
  • Fennel, fine chop – 1/2 a bulb
  • Garlic, fine chop – 3 cloves
  • Bay Leaf – 1 pc
  • Olive Oil – 3 TBSP to brown meat
  • Olive Oil – 5 TBSP to cook soffritto in
  • White Wine Dry – 1/2 cup
  • Chicken Stock (or water) – 1 cup
  • Crushed Red Chili Flake – 1 tiny pinch
  • Ground Nutmeg – 1 tiny pinch
  • Oregano, fine chop – 1 teaspoon
  • Carrots, fine chop – 1/2 a carrot

Bolognese – To Make
1. Grind or finely chop the pancetta.
2. In a medium pot turn on flame to high. Let the pan heat up, then add 3 TBSP of olive oil. As soon as you see smoke gently add all the ground meat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Once browned on both sides pour the browned meat into a colander and drain off all the fat.
4. In the same pan, add the 5 TBSP of olive oil. Then add all the chopped vegetables, both onions, garlic, carrot and fennel. Turn heat to medium-low. Slowly caramelize until a medium golden brown.
5. Next add the tomato paste and bay leaf to the chopped vegetables. Cook for about 3-5 minutes to cook off the raw tomato paste. Then pour in the white wine and cook for another 3-5 minutes to cook off the alcohol.
6. Return the meat to the tomato/sofritto sauce. Then add the chicken stock. The sauce should simmer for about 45 minutes on a low flame.
7. Add the oregano and chili and taste for seasoning.


Fonduta – Ingredients

  • Butter – 6 TBSP
  • AP Flour – 6 TBSP
  • Milk – 3 1/2 cups
  • Spanish Onion – 1/4 cup
  • Fontina, grated – 1/2 cup
  • Clove – 1 pc
  • Nutmeg – to taste
  • Bay Leaf – 1 pc

Fonduta – To Make
1. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don’t let it brown — about 2 minutes. Add the hot milk, continuing to whisk as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil. Add onion, clove, nutmeg, bay, salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat and strain into a bowl, then add the grated Fontina. To cool this sauce for later use, cover it with wax paper or pour a film of milk over it to prevent a skin from forming.


Lasagna Verde – To Assemble
1. Spray lasagna dish with olive oil spray before you start to build. Spread a couple of tablespoons of fonduta on the bottom of the dish, making sure it reaches all four corners. Place first layer of pasta down and press down evenly. Spread equal parts of Bolognese & Fonduta on top of the pasta sheet; make sure to spread it evenly maintaining an even layer and top with next layer of pasta. Repeat 2 more times to have a total of 4 layers of pasta and 3 layers of bolo/fonduta mixture. 3. Top last layer of pasta with the remaining fonduta and spread to cover. Sprinkle with a layer of ground Parmesan.
2. Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes or until golden brown on top and bubbly.

Lasagna Verde from BlueStar All-Star Chef Jonathan Benno
Photo credit: Evan Sung