Four-Cheese Lasagna with Fresh Pasta

Four-cheese lasagna! Ricotta, Parmesan, Mozzarella, and Fontina make this filling for this rustic, free-form lasagna. Fresh pasta sheets are best, but no-boil dry noodles can also be used.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 8 ounces (1 1/2 cups) fresh ricotta
  • 1 ounce (1/4 cup) finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as basil, rosemary, parsley or thyme, or a combination
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 ounces (1 cup) grated fontina
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the lasagna

  • 8 large fresh pasta sheets (1 pound, roughly 6x8 inches in size), or 16 no-boil dry lasagna noodles (about 10 ounces)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 ounces (about 6 tablespoons) finely grated Parmesan
  • Chopped fresh herbs, for garnish

Special equipment:

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Lightly oil a large (10- to 12-inch) skillet or a 9x13-inch baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Have on hand a large bowl with ice water.

2 Make the filling: In a medium bowl, stir the ricotta, Parmesan, egg, lemon zest and herbs together until combined. Fold in the mozzarella and fontina and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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3 Cut the fresh pasta sheets in half to make 16 sheets that are roughly 4x6 inches in size. (If you're using no-boil noodles, break them in half if they are longer than 10 inches. Otherwise use them as is.)

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4 Cook the pasta: Drop the pasta sheets in the boiling water and cook for 30 to 40 seconds. (If using no-boil pasta, boil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Yes, you still need to boil your no-boil noodles for this recipe!)

Using tongs and/or a slotted spatula, carefully transfer the pasta sheets, a few at a time, to the cold water to stop the cooking.

Four Cheese Lasagna

5 Fill the pasta: Working with few sheets at a time, transfer the pasta sheets from the cold water to a cutting board. Pat them dry with a paper towel.

Scoop about 3 tablespoons of the filling onto each pasta sheet, and then fold the sheets in half so that the filling is sandwiched in the middle. (No need to seal the edges.) Brush the tops lightly with olive oil and place in the skillet or baking dish. You don’t have to be too precise about where you place the folded sheets; just layer them in a random pattern.

Continue to fill the remaining pasta sheets in the same manner. When all the sheets are assembled in the baking dish or skillet, sprinkle the top generously with Parmesan.

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6 Bake the lasagna: Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and the pasta is crisp and brown at the edges. Sprinkle with more herbs and serve hot.