I love this dish because it feeds a good amount of people and is a meal that the entire family can enjoy! It can be made ahead of time, frozen, and then baked when the time is right. The combination of sweet, creamy corn and salty pancetta is delicious and comforting. The béchamel (white sauce) with corn acts as a layer and ties this entire lasagna together.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with olive oil and set aside.
Slice the zucchini into ¼-inch-thick rounds and toss to coat in the olive oil. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool. Leave the oven on.
Meanwhile, cut the corn kernels off the cobs and reserve the cobs. Set aside.
In a skillet over medium heat, cook the pancetta, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes, until fragrant and the bits are beginning to stick to the pan. Set aside to cool.
Begin making your béchamel sauce. In a large saucepan, heat the milk until hot. Turn off the heat before the milk begins to simmer and set aside. Melt the butter in a separate large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Do not let the flour brown. Add the hot milk gradually to the flour mixture while whisking constantly. Add the corn kernels to the sauce. Use a knife to shave the remaining corn and juice off of the cobs into the pan. Add the garlic. Bring the sauce to a boil and then turn the heat down to low. Cook for 2 more minutes, then stir in 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and turn off the heat.
Begin to build your lasagna. Spread 2 cups of béchamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish and cover with 4 lasagna noodles. Pour another 2 cups of béchamel over the noodles, making sure to cover them completely. Cover sauce with half of the zucchini rounds, then half of the pancetta, including the oil from the pan. Layer with a third of the mozzarella. Cover the cheese with 4 lasagna noodles.
Add 2 more cups of béchamel sauce, then repeat the layering process by adding the remaining zucchini and pancetta followed by another third of the mozzarella. Cover with the last 4 lasagna noodles, then cover with remaining béchamel sauce, the remaining mozzarella, and the Parmesan.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, removing the foil after 30 minutes to brown the top. The top should be bubbling and golden brown when finished. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
TIP: You can assemble the lasagna ahead and freeze it to bake later. It is a great dish to make if you’re delivering a meal to someone.
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Elizabeth Poett was raised on Rancho San Julian, a 14,000-acre ranch on Santa Barbara’s Central Coast. As a 7th generation cattle rancher, Elizabeth is passionate about preserving the land, growing healthy, humanely-raised foods, and bringing friends and family together for joyful celebrations. She hosts events at The Ranch Table and a cooking show, Ranch To Table. on the Magnolia Network. Her first cookbook is forthcoming in fall 2023.