Weekly Winner: Fungi Fabulousness

mushroom lasagnaI love mushrooms.  I love pasta.  I also love cheese and white sauce.  Therefore this lasagna was really a no-brainer.  I knew it would be fabulous.  But it was incredibly fabulous.  Earthy, savory, creamy, luscious – just plain yummy.  Like all lasagna, I think it actually was as good as it was because I made it early and froze it for a while.

Last Monday I found myself in a cooking frenzy.  If I had been thinking about making it, it got made on Monday.  I made soups, slow-cooker recipes and this lasagna.  We didn’t have it until Friday and after three very long, crazy days working late and not being home, knowing I had this gem tucked away in the freezer made me very happy.  And then I ate it and was incredibly happy.

The recipe (and the photo) comes from Sunset Magazine and thanks to the no-boil noodles was incredibly easy to make.  I was far too anxious to dig in and far too exhausted to remember to snap a picture myself.  But trust me… mine looked exactly like this!

Mushroom and Fresh Herb Lasagna

Serves 12

Ingredients

12 no-boil lasagna noodles (1/2 lb.)

1 qt. milk

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup flour

About 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

About 1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons chopped parsley, divided

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, divided

About 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided

2 medium leeks, sliced into thin rings

1 1/2 pounds portabella mushrooms, sliced

1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

1 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese

1 cup plus 2 tbsp. coarsely shredded Asiago cheese

Instructions:

  1. Soften noodles in a pan of very hot water while you prep the other ingredients.
  2. Make béchamel (white sauce): Bring milk to a simmer in a saucepan and remove from heat. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, until slightly darkened, 2 minutes. Whisk milk into flour mixture all at once and whisk until smooth.  Add 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and the nutmeg. Sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon; if it isn’t, cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in garlic, 2 tbsp. parsley, and 1/2 tbsp. thyme. Keep covered.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°. Heat a deep, wide pot over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Swirl in 1 tbsp. oil and add leeks. Cook until tender but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Scoop leeks into a bowl and set aside.
  4. Swirl 2 tbsp. oil into pot. Add mushrooms, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat, covered, until mushrooms are tender and beginning to release juices, about 5 minutes.  Uncover and cook until edges start to brown. Stir in leeks and remaining  1/2 tbsp. thyme. Remove from heat.
  5. Mix parmesan with Asiago.
  6. Assemble lasagna: Oil a 9- by 13-in. baking dish.  Spread a few spoonfuls of béchamel over bottom. Arrange 3 noodles crosswise in dish, then spoon on about 1/2 cup béchamel, followed by a third of the mushrooms and 1/3 cup cheeses. Repeat layers twice more. Top with a final layer of noodles and béchamel, and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  7. Bake lasagna until browned and bubbling, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp. parsley and let sit at least 15 minutes before slicing.
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