Corn is one of those vegetables that I can do without. I rarely eat it. I honestly can’t even eat corn on the cob or a whole apple because my two front teeth are bonded, and that would be a total disaster if I were to lose part of my front teeth. Haha! Growing up my mom would make creamed corn from a can. I would turn my head every time. I just couldn’t bring myself to eat it. This corn basil lasagna is nothing like that, but I now have an understanding of how good creamed corn could be after making this lasagna. It has unbelievable flavors from a hint of sweetness from the corn and basil, a bright lemony flavor from the lemon zest, and a salty bite from the pecorino and provolone. It’s such a refreshing take on the classic lasagna and perfect for summer. The lasagna is made with no-boil noodles which makes for an even easier, no-fuss recipe.
Giada De Laurentiis cooked for Prince William and Duchess Kate at a charity polo event in California, and this happened to be one of the dishes served. If it’s good enough for royalty, it must be worthy of making. Right? After taking my first bite, I’m really glad I decided to take a chance on making this lasagna. It’s another recipe added to the dinner rotation.
The filling is all made in the food processor for easy cleanup.
When processing the mixture, I like to leave some of the corn kernels visible for an added texture in the filling.
Using good quality cheese is key in my opinion. I found both the pecorino romano and provolone in the cheese section at Whole Foods and grated both with a cheese grater. The provolone seen in this photo is an Italian Cabre-aged cheese which makes for a sharper tasting provolone which is what you want in this lasagna.
As you can see, I used a metal baking dish, but glass will work perfectly too.
These are no-boil lasagna sheets, I highly recommend Delallo organic whole wheat lasagna sheets. It is the best dried lasagna I’ve used so far. The pasta tends to create a flaky almost phyllo dough like texture when baking. So yummy!
Corn Basil Lasagna
from Weeknights with Giada
I followed the recipe exactly as written in my cookbook. I wouldn’t change anything. Each ingredient really does shine through in the lasagna. I suggest using good quality ingredients for best results. See notes below.
3 cups frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups grated pecorino romano cheese
zest of 1 large lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp provolone cheese
6 no-boil lasagna sheets
olive oil, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8×8 baking dish with olive oil. Set aside.
Add the corn, heavy cream, and garlic to a food processor. Process until chunky. Add the mascarpone, 1 cup of pecorino, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth. (I left some of the corn kernels visible for more texture). Add the basil and pulse until just combined. You should still see pieces of basil in the mixture.
Spoon 1/3 of the corn mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the provolone cheese. Place 2 lasagna sheets on top. Layer with another 1/3 of the corn mixture, 1/3 provolone, and 2 more lasagna sheets. Repeat one more time by adding another layer with the remaining 1/3 corn mixture, 1/3 provolone, and 2 lasagna sheets. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of pecorino on top and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden on top and the filling is bubbling. Cool for 10 minutes. Cut into 4 pieces and serve.
Note: Using good quality romano and provolone is key to this dish. I found both romano and provolone in the cheese section at Whole Foods. The provolone is an aged Italian provolone with a sharp taste which is what you want for this lasagna.
Note: For the no-boil lasagna sheets, I highly recommend Delallo organic whole wheat lasagna sheets. The pasta tends to create a flaky almost phyllo dough like texture when baking. It’s hands down the best dried lasagna I’ve tried so far.