This recipe is adapted from the December 2014 issue of Food and Wine. The first time I read this recipe it sounded amazing!!! I knew I had to try it. It was fairly simple to follow but I'm just not one for making my own pasta. So the first thing I changed was I just use store bought fresh pasta sheets, soooooo much easier and quicker. Then I couldn't help myself from adding a creaming layer of ricotta. I also cut the Béchamel by half and it was more then enough sauce. Lastly I changed the type and amount of cheeses. I guess you can say this is a totally different recipe but all the inspiration came from that Food and Wine issue so credit is a must! —Danielle
Melt tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Cut leek in half length wise and wash to remove all the sand. Cut leek into small slices. Sauté leeks in butter with a pinch of salt stirring often for 40 minutes of until lightly caramelized.
Add stick of butter to caramelized leeks and melt. Add 1/2 cup flour and whisk into butter for 3-5 minutes until it becomes a smooth paste. Slowly whisk in the whole milk. Try to constantly whisk to avoid lumps. Cook sauce for about 20 minutes until it starts to thicken and the flour taste is cooked out. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Set aside until ready to build lasagna.
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13" glass pan. Mix together the ricotta, egg and garlic powder. Lay out the pasta sheets and evenly spread each sheet with the ricotta mixture.
Spoon a layer of the béchamel into the bottom of the dish. Carefully lift two of the ricotta topped pasta sheets into the pan side by side and top with some of both cheeses and more béchamel. Repeat this two more times ending with more béchamel and the last of the shredded cheeses.
Cover pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Carefully remove foil and bake for 20 minutes more. During the last 5-7 minutes turn oven to broil, this will give it a beautiful golden brown top!
This is amazing all on its own but the fun part is the toppings!!! I like to have at least three options but the more the better. Sautéed mushrooms with masala, broccoli with garlic, Montreal shredded chicken, hot Italian sausage, pesto, roasted root veggies, crispy prosciutto or my personal favorite LOBSTER!!!!!! The options are totally up to you and how creative you want to get. I love this for a dinner party, add fresh green salad and garlic bread and you will be able to enjoy you guests because you can do almost all of it ahead of time!!