Amazing Cook’s Illustrated Four Cheese Lasagna

25 Jul

I first made this when Jared’s Grandparents came to visit us, and then I made it again the other night for me, Jared & Bradfjord. Brad helped =). This is definitely a fancy, labor intensive recipe, but SOOO worth it. Like if you’re thinking, “it’s not our anniversary, or anyone’s anything, I just want a really nice meal tonight” or when you (Sarah & Elizabeth) opt to eat gluten/wheat for a day, then make this. It’s also expensive, so don’t be shocked when you check out at the grocery store and they tell you you spent $20 on cheese alone. But that’s the whole point of the lasagna, the cheese! So don’t skimp on it. Also as a preparatory note, do all of the shredding, mincing & chopping beforehand, because the recipe really picks up momentum once you get started.

Four-Cheese Lasagna

(serves 8-10)

*6 oz. Gruyere Cheese Shredded (about 1.5 cups; and for you child-bearing women out there, this is not a pasteurized cheese)

2 ozs. finely-grated Parmesan (about 1 cup)

1.5 cups part-skim ricotta cheese

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 tsp. black pepper

2 tbsp. + 2 tsps. minced fresh parsley

3 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 tbsp.)

1 medium clove garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tsp.)

1/3 c/. all-purpose flour

2.5 c. whole milk

1.5 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1 bay leaf

pinch cayenne pepper

15 no-boil lasagna noodles (barilla works great!)

*8 ozs. fontina, shredded, rind removed (about 2 cups–this is also not a pasteurized cheese, I’ll tell you what I did for this & the gruyere in a minute)

3 ozs. Gorgonzola cheese, finely crumbled (this cheese is crucial, I got the Goronzola Dolce at Whole Foods, and it was AMAZING)

*So, I ended up substituting Tellagio for the Gruyere, which is a similarly flavored cheese, and Fontal for the Fontina, because the substitutes were pasteurized. Now, I won’t say that’s ideal, because it’s not what the recipe calls for, but I didn’t notice a difference in flavor between the first and the second time I made it…so there you go.

1. Place Gruyere and 1/2 c. Parmesan in large heatproof bowl. In another bowl combine ricotta, egg, black pepper & 2 tbsp. parsley in medium bowl. Set both bowls aside.

2. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming, add shallot and garlic & cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add flour & cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly combined, about 1.5 minutes; mixture should not brown. Gradually whisk in milk & broth; increase heat to medium-high and bring to full boil, whisking frequently. Add salt, bay leaf, and cayenne; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon or heatproof spatula & making sure to scrape bottom & corners of saucepan (you should have about 4 c. sauce).

3. Remove saucepan from heat & discard bay leaf. Gradually whisk 1/4 c. sauce into ricotta mixture. Pour remaining sauce over Gruyere mixture and stir until smooth; set aside.

4. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Place noodles in 13×9″ baking dish and cover with very hot tap water; soak 10 minutes, agitating noodles occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from water, place in single layer on kitchen towel, and pat dry. Wipe out baking dish and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

5. Distribute 1/2 c. sauce in bottom of baking dish. Place 3 noodles in single layer on top of sauce. Spread 1/2 c. ricotta mixture evenly over noodles and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 c. fontina and 3 tbsps. Gorgonzola. Drizzle 1/2 c. sauce evenly over cheese. Repeat layering of noodles, ricotta, fontina, Gorgonzola and sauce 3 more times. Place final 3 noodles on top and cover completely with remaining sauce, spreading and allowing to spill over noodles. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 c. Parmesan.

6. Spray large sheet foil with nonstick cooking spray and cover lasagna; bake until edges are just bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Remove foil & turn oven to broil. Broil until surface is spotty brown, 3-5 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 2 tsps. parsley; cut into pieces and serve.

Yum!!!! Enjoy =).

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