Mushroom Lasagna PRINT
- YIELD: 6 serving
- COOK TIME: 60 min
This lasagna tastes very rich, even thought it really isn’t. It combines an olive oil bechamel with a simple mushroom ragout and Parmesan cheese. I prefer no-boil lasagna noodles because they’re lighter than regular lasagna noodles. But I still boil them because I think the results are better if they’re cooked until they’re flexible(a Couple of minutes) first.
by Martha Rose Shulman
|For the mushrooms:|
|1||ounce (about 1 cup) dried procini or shiitake mushrooms|
|1||tablespoon extra virgin olive oil|
|2||shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped|
|2||t0 3 garlic cloves, minced|
|1||pound cremini mushrooms, sliced|
|½||cup fruity red wine, such as a Cotes du Rhone or Syrah|
|1||teaspoon fresh thume leaves|
|Freshly ground pepper|
|For the Bechamel:|
|2||tablespoons extra virgin olive oil|
|2||tgablespoons minced shallot or onion|
|2||tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour|
|2||cups milk (may use low-fat milk)|
|Salt and freshly ground pepper|
|½||pound no-boil lasagna noodles|
|4||ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)|
|A few leaves of fresh sage (optional)|
1. Place the dried mushrooms in a glass measuring cup and pour 2 cups boiling water over them. Let soak 30 minutes, while you prepare the other ingredients. Place a strainer over a bowl, line it with cheesecloth or paper towels, and drain the mushrooms. Squeeze the mushrooms over the strainer to extract all the flavorful juices. If using shiitakes, cut away and discard the stems. then rinse the mushrooms, away from the bowl with the soaking liquid, until they are free of sand. Squeeze dry and set aside. Chop coarsely. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of the soaking liquid and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add the shallots or onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir together for about30 seconds,then add the fresh and reconstitued mushrooms and salt to taste. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms begin to soften and to heat, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and turn the heat to high. Cook, stirring, until the liquid boils down and glazes the mushrooms are thoroughly tender and fragrant and the surrounding broth has reduced by a little more than half,about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in some freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt.
3. Meanwhile, make the bechamel. Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy saucepan. Add the shallot or onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, umtil smooth and bubbling, but not browned. It should have the texture of wet sand. Whisk in the milk all at once and bring to a simmer, whisking all the while, until the mixture begins to thicken. Turn the heat to very low and simmer, stirring often with a whisk and scraping the bottom and edges of the pan with a rubber spatula, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce is thick and has lost its raw-flour taste. Season with salt and pepper. Strain while hot into the pan withthe mushrooms.
4. Assemble the lasagna. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Oil or butter a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and add 3 to 4 lasagna noodles, just the number you need for one layer. Cook only until flexible, and using tongs or a skimmer, remove from the pan and set on a kitchen towel to drain. spoon a thin layer of bechamel and mushrooms over the bottom over the bottom of the dish. Top with a layer of noodles. spread a ladleful of the mushroom/bechamel mixture over the noodles and top with a layer of Parmesan. Cook the next layer of noodles and continue to repeat the layers (I get three layers in my pan), ending with a layer of the mushroom/bechamel mistue topped with Parmesan. Cover with foil and place in the oven. Bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil, and if you want the eges of the noodles crispy and the top lightly browned, continue to bake uncovered for another 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot or warm.
The mushrooms can be cooked up to 4 days before the lasagna is assembled and baked. The bechamel can be made a day ahead. Whisk well and reheat gentlty before straining into the mushrooms and assembling the lasagna. The assembled lasagna can be tightly covered and refrigerated for a day before baking. Leftovers will keep for 3 to 4 days. Reheat in a low oven or in a microwave.