Thursday, October 11

Corn, Zucchini & Poblano Lasagna

I love combining unexpected flavors into classic dishes, and I find that Mexican ingredients work really well with pasta (just see here). This lasagna is completely different than traditional Italian versions with no tomato sauce in sight, and instead draws on the unique flavors of poblano rajas. A creamy corn sauce is layered between the noodles, along with roasted peppers, zucchini, onions, and lots of cheese. There a few steps to making it, but it's well worth it and (depending on how many people you're feeding) you'll have leftovers for days. It's a really memorable, smart dish that will sure to be a new household favorite.

Corn, Zucchini & Poblano Lasagna:
  • Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a large skillet and add in the kernels from 3 ears of corn* and 3 cloves of minced garlic.
  • Cook for 5 minutes, or until corn is tender, then add in 2 c. heavy cream, 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, and 1 tbsp. fresh minced oregano.
  • Cook mixture on low heat for 5-7 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
  • Let mixture cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and puree til smooth.**
  • At the same time, melt 2 tbsp. butter in another skillet and add in 1 thinly sliced onion.
  • Cook onion until softened, about 5 minutes, then add in 2 cloves minced garlic, 4 thinly sliced roasted poblano peppers,*** and 1 thinly sliced (length-wise) zucchini.
  • Cook vegetables for another 5 minutes, or until softened. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.****
  • To assemble lasagna, pour 1/4 of the corn sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish and top with a layer of no-boil lasagna noodles.
  • Top noodles with a layer of grated mozzarella cheese***** and some of the vegetable mixture.
  • Continue layering lasagna, ending with a layer of cheese, until all the ingredients are used.
  • Cover dish with foil and place in a 350F oven for 45 minutes, then uncover and broil for 5-6 minutes.
  • Let lasagna cool slightly, then cut into pieces and serve.

Serves eight
*Or about 2 c. of thawed frozen corn kernels.
**Sauce can be made a day in advance and stored in the fridge. It also tastes great by itself on pasta.
***Sometimes called pasilla. To roast, place on a sheet pan under a hot broiler for 15 minutes, turning once, or until the outside skins are completely charred. Let steam in a plastic bag for 15 minutes, then rub off skins with your hands and remove stem and seeds.
****Can also be done a day in advance and kept in the fridge.
*****You will need about 2 c. of cheese total.