I hate when TV chefs moan every time they taste one of their own recipes. I mean, I'm sure they are good but is every single one that good? I doubt it. To my dismay, when I tasted this four cheese lasagna a noise escaped from my lips that sounded curiously similar to a moan. Did I really just make that noise after tasting my lasagna? I did. That's just how good this four cheese lasagna tasted.
The sauce for this dish is made with milk, chicken broth, and a bit of Gruyere cheese. It is not too thick, but is creamy and delicious. The layers of the lasagna are topped by a ricotta cheese mixture, shredded fontina, shredded Asiago, and more of the cheese sauce. This lasagna is not for the faint of heart. The taste is similar to fettuccine alfredo but four times better because of all the different flavors from the cheeses. While I can not make this very often because of the fat and calories, this is definitely comfort food for the winter.
Four Cheese Lasagna (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
4 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 oz. Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 1/2 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 t. ground black pepper
2 T. unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 c. flour
2 c. skim milk
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
12 no boil lasagna noodles
6 oz. fontina cheese, shredded
3 oz. Asiago cheese, shredded
1. Place Gruyere and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese in a large, heatproof bowl. Combine the ricotta, egg, and black pepper in a second bowl. Set both bowls aside.
2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add in the garlic and shallot and stir for one minute. Add in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes.
3. Slowly whisk in the milk and chicken broth. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Add in salt and cayenne pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Remove from heat and slowly add 1/4 cup of the sauce into the ricotta mixture, stirring well. Pour the remaining sauce over the Gruyere mixture and stir until smooth. Set aside.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
6. Place the 12 lasagna noodles in a 13 x 9 pan and cover with hot water. Let sit for 10 minutes, shaking the pan every couple of minutes to prevent sticking. After 10 minutes remove the noodles and pat dry. Dump the water from the pan and wipe it dry. Spray the pan with cooking spray.
7. Pour 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Place three noodles in a single layer on top of the sauce. Spread 1/2 cup ricotta mixture over the noodles and sprinkle with 1/2 cup fontina and 3 tablespoons of Asiago. Repeat these layers 2 more time and then top with the last three noodles. Cover completely with remaining sauce. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and parsley if desired.
8. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and broil the lasagna for 2-4 minutes or until the top is a spotty brown. Cool for 5 minutes. Serve hot.
Full Plate Thursday, It's A Keeper, Frugal Food Thursday