WW Stacy recommended this Ina Garten recipe to me this winter, and it is a winner. The mushrooms make it hearty enough to stand up as a nice winter meal, on its own or perhaps as a side to a nice steak, with a glass of red wine, and of course enjoyed in front of the fire. (Even though it is spring, it is snowing right now and I’m going skiing this weekend, so I’m still fully rooted in the winter frame of mind!) BUT, as we are all anxious to get into spring, this recipe is also light enough, and would be perfect with a nice green salad and a glass of white wine.
Don’t let the lengthy looking directions discourage you – it’s very simple and easy to prepare.
Portobello Mushroom Lasagna
good olive oil
3/4 pound dried lasagna noodles (Stacy recommends DeCecco brand)
4 cups whole milk (you can substitute something lighter; I used 2%)
12 tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground nutmeg (this flavor really comes through, so if you’re not a nutmeg fan, put in a sprinkle or eliminate – but also delivers a nice complimentary flavor to the mushrooms)
1.5 pounds mushrooms (I followed Stacy’s recommendation, and used 1 pound of portobello and 1 pound of button (Paris) mushrooms – probably any combination would work – but I do like the idea of using 2 pounds vs. 1.5)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (Stacy recommends fresh grated Locatelli Romano)
Preheat oven to 375. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 T salt and a splash of oil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside.
For the white sauce, bring the milk to a simmer in a saucepan. Set aside. Melt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of the butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Pour the hot milk into the butter flour mixture all at once. Add 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg, and cook over medium low heat, stirring first with the wooden spoon and then with a whisk, for 3 – 5 minutes, until thick. Set aside off the heat.
Separate the mushroom stems from the caps and discard the stems. Slice the caps 1/4 inch thick. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large (12-inch) saute pan. When the butter melts, add half the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and they release some of their juices. If they become too dry, add a little more oil. Toss occasionally to make sure the mushrooms cook evenly. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms and set all the mushrooms aside.
To assemble the lasagna, spread some of the sauce in the bottom of an 8x12x2 inch baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top, then more sauce, then one third of the mushrooms and 1/4 cups grated Parm or Romano. Repeat two more t imes, layering noodles, sauce, mushrooms, and cheese. Top with a final layer of noodles and sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake the lasagna for 45 minutes, or until the top is browned and the sauce is bubbly and hot. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes and serve hot.
If you like truffle flavor, I drizzled a little truffle oil on top as I was serving. Really delicious!