Who doesn't love bacon? The smell of it cooking in our home will bring not only the pugs, but the husband, running to the kitchen. I've been seeing some recipes for creamed corn with bacon in my searches for ideas of what to do with the ears of corn I keep picking up for Heron Pond Farm's tent at the Newburyport Farmers' Market every week. Those recipes looked fabulous, but I wanted to put together a main dish. On hand, I had the corn, a big zucchini from our garden and bacon. I had ricotta to use and lasagna noodles, so this recipe was born. The white sauce is borrowed from Gourmet, but the rest is the product of my bizarre imagination.
Summer Bounty Bacon Lasagna
White Sauce (from Gourmet/1997)
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
6 strips center-cut bacon
1/2 red onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1 zucchini, sliced into ribbons
4 ears corn, kernels removed from cob
24 oz (3 cups) ricotta cheese (you can use skim or whole milk)
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Rest of Lasagna
1 box Lasagna noodles (I'll admit, I cheated and used no-boil this time)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat over to 375 degrees.
Fry bacon up in a 12-inch skillet until crispy. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate. Wipe out skillet, leaving a little of the bacon fat behind.
Add red onion to skillet and cook over medium high heat until softened. Add garlic, cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add zucchini ribbons, then add corn. Salt and pepper to taste and cook until corn and zucchini are slightly soft, 5-7 minutes. Set skillet aside.
Prepare ricotta mixture by beating 1 egg into ricotta in a medium bowl. Add fresh basil and crumbled bacon with salt and pepper and stir until combined, set aside.
Prepare white sauce next - melt butter over low heat, then add flour and stir and cook a roux, about 3 minutes. Add milk in a stream, stirring away, and bring up to a boil, whisking until sauce thickens. Salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
Take a 9x13 lasagna pan, add 1 cup white sauce to cover the bottom. Arrange first layer of lasagna noodles. Spread 1/3 amount of ricotta/bacon mixture over noodles, then 1/3 of corn mixture, then sprinkle Parmesan over the top and finally 1 cup of the sauce. Repeat for three layers. Pour remaining sauce over the top, sprinkle remaining Parmesan over the top.
Cover with foil and bake for 45-60 minutes (depending on if you used no boil noodles or not), until top is golden.
This is part of Farmers' Market Week here in Massachusetts and the Loving Local blog-a-thon. Please go to Mass Farmers' Markets to donate and help out!