Decadent White Lasagna. My version of white lasagna is a succulent layered lasagna with cheeses and crispy prosciutto in a creamy white sauce that is perfect for an upscale dinner party or a special celebration dinner at home.
This lasagna is a take off of the usual red lasagna for those who aren’t tomato fans. I’m not promising that it’s calorie or fat free. But then, I don’t eat it regularly either, and when I do, I just have a small slice. White Lasagna is a nice treat to go along with a healthy salad. For more ideas on how to keep your weight at a manageable level, please refer back to my “Eating Healthier” posting. I make White Lasagna maybe twice a year.
White Lasagna bakes very nicely. The sauce becomes creamy and a bit custardy which I love. The white sauce is traditional with a bit of parmesan cheese added to it. The three layers contain two layers of prosciutto ham, shredded mozzarella, caramelized onions, and a separate center layer of fresh nutmeg-scented ricotta cheese filling. The lasagna is not super salty even with all the prosciutto ham in it.
Prosciutto is a dry cured ham that is usually from Italy. We buy our prosciutto in bulk at Costco. Then I repackage it using our FoodSaver into smaller portions and then freeze it.
Remove 10 slices of prosciutto from the container.
Start out by crisping some chopped prosciutto in a non-stick pan. Drain the prosciutto on a paper-towel-covered plate. Using the same pan with the prosciutto’s grease, saute some finely chopped sweet onion until the onion is translucent. Set aside.
In another pan, make a creamy white sauce. I use butter and flour to make a roux.
Then add some milk and stir together to thicken. Add some very finely chopped shallots, a bay leaf, and then some grated parmesan cheese. Let the white sauce simmer for a bit over low heat until it thickens, while you stir it occasionally.
Meanwhile, make a ricotta filling by mixing a beaten egg, shredded parmesan, and some grated nutmeg into fresh ricotta cheese.
When the white sauce has thickened and you have removed the bay leaf, spoon some sauce into a greased baking pan. I like to use a regular glass loaf pan because it is deep and you can make a lot of layers.
Place a no-boil lasagna noodle on top of the white sauce.
Ladle some more sauce onto the lasagna noodle and sprinkle half of the prosciutto, half of the cooked onion, and some shredded mozzarella and parmesan on top. Add some more white sauce.
Add another no-boil lasagna noodle on top of the white sauce.
Spread the ricotta mixture over the lasagna noodle.
Add another no-boil lasagna noodle.
Sprinkle the remaining prosciutto, onion, shredded mozzarella, and some parmesan over the top.
Add some more sauce. Finally, add the last no-boil lasagna noodle. Add the rest of the sauce and smooth out with a spatula.
Cover the sauce with smoked provolone slices and more shredded mozzarella and shredded parmesan.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour, checking to see that the top has browned, the interior is about 170 degrees Fahrenheit (use a quick check thermometer) and the bottom has not burned.
Remove from the oven and let sit a few minutes before cutting. I use two spatulas, one on each side, to cut and lift the slices out of the pan.
Plate and serve!
From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….
10 slices prosciutto
1/2 c finely chopped onion
3 T butter
1/4 c flour
2 c milk
1/4 c finely chopped shallots
1 bay leaf
1 c grated parmesan cheese, divided
1 c fresh ricotta cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c shredded parmesan, divided
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
4 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 c shredded mozzarella, divided
3 slices smoked provolone cheese, Havarti, or Swiss
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Chop the prosciutto into small pieces.
3. In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, crisp the prosciutto. When the prosciutto is crispy, remove it to a bowl and set aside.
4. In the same non-stick skillet with the prosciutto grease, saute the finely chopped onion until it is just translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.
5. Make the white sauce by heating the butter in a chef’s pan over low heat.
6. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour. Cook two to three minutes, stirring with the whisk.
7. Add the milk and continue to whisk until smooth.
8. Stir in the chopped shallots, the bay leaf, and the grated parmesan. Let simmer over medium low heat until the white sauce thickens. Remove the bay leaf and set the sauce aside.
9. Make the ricotta filling by mixing the ricotta with the lightly beaten egg, 1/4 cup of the shredded parmesan cheese, and the grated nutmeg. Set aside.
10. Lightly grease a loaf pan with cooking spray. Spoon some of the white sauce into the bottom of the loaf pan.
11. Place a no-boil lasagna noodle on top of the white sauce in the loaf pan.
12. Ladle some more sauce onto the noodle. Then sprinkle half of the prosciutto, half of the onion, and a third of the shredded mozzarella over the sauce.
13. Place a second no-boil lasagna noodle over the prosciutto layer.
14. Evenly spread the ricotta mixture over the second lasagna noodle. Top with a third lasagna noodle.
15. Ladle some more white sauce over the third lasagna noodle.
16. Sprinkle the rest of the prosciutto, onion, and another third of the shredded mozzarella over the white sauce.
17. Top with the fourth lasagna noodle. Ladle the rest of the white sauce over the top of the fourth noodle. Then spread the smoked provolone cheese slices and the rest of the shredded mozzarella and shredded parmesan over the white sauce.
18. Put the pan of lasagna onto an aluminum foil-covered baking sheet (dull side of foil up) to catch any overspills.
19. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour, checking to be sure internal temperature reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit, and the top has browned. Check from time to time to ensure the bottom has not over-browned or burned.
20. When the lasagna is done, remove it from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes for ease of cutting and pan removal.
21. Cut into slices, and serve!
Makes 4 portions as an entree. This lasagna is great with a side salad such as my Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Peppered Goat Cheese or my Simple Cucumber Salad. This lasagna pairs nicely with red or white wine.
Variations: Add some sliced mushrooms to the onions while they are cooking. Cut back on the milk fat by using 1% or 2% milk. Use Swiss or another white cheese along with the ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan if you are not a fan of the smoked provolone. You can use pre-cooked lasagna noodles if you prefer. I don’t use them because they tend to fall apart when I’m trying to assemble the lasagna before cooking. You can definitely double or triple this recipe in a larger pan, or make individual white lasagnas in ramekins.
Get your own FoodSaver from Amazon.com! I love mine!
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