MUSHROOM LASAGNA – The actual recipe

I find most American versions of vegetable lasagna way too rich and laden with too much cheese – mozzarella, ricotta, Gruyère or combinations of the three make for a cholesterol unfriendly and greasy dish that scarcely resembles the original. My mom’s lasagna is phenomenal because the flavour comes from just mushrooms and Parmesan and its creaminess from bechamel sauce, a slightly less rich alternative to gobs of cheese.

She makes her own pasta which is paper-thin and doesn’t compare to the thick sheets one finds in a box but for me to make pasta by hand I have to be extremely motivated. Last Sunday, I wasn’t.

1 1/2 pound mixed mushrooms

1 oz dried Porcini

5 T Butter + more to dot the lasagna with when assemblying it

4 T Flour

3 C Milk

1 C Parmesan Cheese, grated

1/2 pound lasagna sheets

1/4 ts grated nutmeg

A/N salt and pepper

 

  1. Soak the porcini in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain and chop. Clean the fresh mushrooms and slice.
  2. Sautee all the mushrooms in 1 T of butter and 1 T of olive oil. Add a splash of milk, salt and pepper and cook on medium heat until the mushrooms are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.

    Sautee the mushrooms until soft

  3. To make the bechamel. Melt the remaining 4 T of butter in a saucepan, sprinkle the flour over it and whisk until well incorporated. Cook for a few minutes until deep yellow and nutty.

    Butter and flour (roux) as the base for bechamel

    Slowly pour the milk in the pan, while whisking continually. This is the boring part – you will have to stand at the stove, whisking, until the bechamel thickens. It’s done when it coats a wooden spoon – you don’t want it too thick as it will harden in the oven. When done, take the pan off the stove, add the nutmeg, salt and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Mix well.

    Done when a layer coats the back of a wooden spoon

  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the lasagna and cook according to package instructions. So the sheets won’t stick, when cooked I lift them one by one out of the pan and place them on a board covered with a linen or cotton dishrag to absorb the water.
  5. Butter a 9”x13” pan. Spread some bechamel on the bottom of the pan and then add the mushrooms to the remaining bechamel and mix.

    Mix bechamel and mushrooms

  6. Cover the bottom of the pan with the pasta sheets, cutting them to fit so they won’t overlap. Spread some of the bechamel/mushroom mixture, sprinkle some Parmesan and dot with some butter. Repeat until you have run out of layers. Finish with a healthy sprinkle of Parmesan and butter.

    Start layering

  7. Bake at 350 F, covered in foil for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15. Serve right out of the oven.

 

 

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2 Comments

Filed under cooking, food, Italy

2 responses to “MUSHROOM LASAGNA – The actual recipe

  1. Sue

    YAY … I was away when this came out and missed it. Will try it before I see you xxx

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