Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mushroom Lasagna

Let me count the ways that I love this lasagna...1. The béchamel sauce is amazing, I mean really amazing. 2. The mushrooms have great flavor and add a lot of texture. 3. The béchamel sauce is amazing. 4. You can taste every layer of flavor. 5. The only cheese is parmesan which lets the other flavors (like the béchamel sauce) shine. 6. It was so good that I savored every bite because I didn't want it to end. 7. Did I mention the the béchamel sauce? Ok, maybe I'm being a little dramatic but I just had this lasagna for dinner and I seriously enjoyed every bite.  

Mushroom Lasagna
Servings: 6-8

3/4 lb. (~12 sheets) dried lasagna noodles
4 cups whole milk
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. pepper, freshly ground
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 lbs. cremini (baby bella) mushrooms (or a mixture of cremini and white button mushrooms)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Fresh Italian parsley, chopped, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. Set aside. In a large pot filled with salted water, boil the lasagna noodles 8-9 minutes or until "al dente." Drain and set aside to cool. 

To make the béchamel sauce, in a medium saucepan, heat the milk over med-low heat until just beginning to simmer. In a large saucepan, melt 1 stick of butter over med-low heat and add the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon for ~ 1 minute. Add the scalded milk and stir with a wooden spoon until incorporated, then whisk together. Add the salt, nutmeg, and pepper, and cook over low heat for 3-5 minutes or until thickened, whisking frequently. Set aside and whisk occasionally until ready for use.

To make the mushroom mixture, in a 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil and ~1 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add 1/3 of the mushrooms and a pinch of salt, and cook until browned and softened. During the last minute of cooking, add 1/3 of the garlic, thyme, and wine. Transfer to a large bowl. Continue cooking the mushrooms, garlic, thyme, and wine, 1/3 at a time. (The mushrooms cannot be cooked all at once because they will not brown). 

To assemble the lasagna, coat the bottom of the prepared baking dish with some of the béchamel sauce. Add a layer of lasagna noodles and coat with more sauce. Add 1/3 of the mushroom mixture and spread out in an even layer. Sprinkle 1/3 of the parmesan cheese over the mushrooms. Repeat 2 more times. For the final layer, add a layer of lasagna noodles, top with the remaining sauce, and sprinkle the remaining parmesan. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Let rest 15 minutes at room temperature and top with fresh parsley before serving.

Source: adapted from Ina Garten (Food Network)

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