End of Summer Lasagna
Making a lasagna does not have to take hours of preparation – the key is just planning and preparation. This recipe took me 51 minutes to get in the oven. And factor into this 51 minutes that I was making this recipe up as I went and taking notes, I had to go out to the garden for the herbs, and I ended up battling a Tomato Horn Worm that would not come off my plant for me to flush (he won – I got too freaked out). So Keep Calm and Make Lasagna.
End of Summer Lasagna
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms
- 4 Tbs unsalted butter divided
- 1 lb Italian sausage casings removed
- 2 medium zucchini diced
- 1/2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt divided
- 2 Tbs all-purpose flour
- 2 cup milk
- 1 15 oz container ricotta
- 1 Tbs fresh oregano leaves chopped
- 2 Tbs fresh parsley chopped
- 2/3 cup corn kernels thawed if frozen
- fresh cracked pepper
- cooking spray
- 4 cup part-skim mozzarella shredded
- 2 cup shredded fontina cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese
- 12 lasagna noodles
- Put a large pot of water to boil. Preheat oven to 425F.
- In a large nonstick skillet over high heat, melt 2 T butter. Add the mushrooms and brown. For more in-depth instruction see my How to Brown Mushrooms article. Move browned mushrooms to a plate and set aside.
- In the same skillet over medium-high heat, brown the sausage breaking the meat up into small bits as it cooks. Once browned and no longer pink, move the sausage to a bowl lined with 2 layers of paper towels to drain the fat. Set aside.
- Layer the diced zucchini on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/2 t salt and drizzle 1 T olive oil. Toss to coat the zucchini. Roast in the oven at 425F ~8-10 minutes until just softened and a touch browned, but not completely roasted. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- To make the bechamel, heat a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2T butter and the flour. Cook, stirring regularly, 4-5 minutes to make a roux. Whisking continually, add the milk. Cook, stirring, 5 minutes until very slightly thickened. Add 1 t salt and a pinch pepper and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, 1 t salt, the herbs, and 1/4 c of the prepared bechamel (I always add a little bechamel to the ricotta in any lasagna - makes it creamier and easier to spread).
- Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions in heavily salted water. Drain and rinse briefly with cold water to prevent noodles from sticking to each other.
- OK, we're ready to put it together...
- In a lasagna pan or other deep baking dish sprayed with cooking spray, spread 1/4 c bechamel. To the remaining bechamel in the saucepan add the sausage and stir.
- In the lasagna dish over the bechamel, layer 3 lasagna noodles, trimming if necessary to fit. Layer half each of the mushrooms, corn, and zucchini. Layer 1/2 c fontina, 1/4 c parmesan, and 1 c mozzarella. Layer 3 more noodles. For the second layer, spread half the sausage-bechamel mixture and half the ricotta-herb mixture.
- Layer another 3 noodles. Layer the remaining mushrooms, corn, and zucchini. Layer 1/2 c fontina, 1/4 c parmesan, and 1 c mozzarella. Layer 3 noodles. Layer the rest of the sausage-bechamel and rest of the ricotta-herb mixture. Layer the last 3 noodles (I had to press everything down pretty well by this point to get it to fit). Top with 1/2 c fontina, 1/4 c parmesan, and 2 cups mozzarella.
- Bake at 350F for an hour. The cheese on top will brown before the lasagna is cooked all the way through, so once it browns (~30 minutes into the cooking time), top with foil.
- Remove from the oven and let lasagna set 15 minutes before cutting to serve. Serves a crowd (~8-12) - after all, it's lasagna!