Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mushroom Lasagna

WOW, this was excellent. This would be a great company meal--you can make it ahead of time and just bake it when you're ready. It also makes a great freezer meal--bake it, then wrap it well, thaw it out and heat it up. That's if it makes it to the freezer....it's so good! It's like a creamy alfredo pasta with mushrooms but layered and pretty. Norris, who as a kid declared "I don't want no basagna!" loved it. So good!!
This was one of those meals that I made on a Sunday cooking spree and tasted as I went (hey, practice what I preach at school, right??), which made me excited all day Monday about having it for dinner. The sauce, the noodles, the mushrooms, so good. I would even add some sauteed spinach next time for another flavor dimension. I just sprinkled crushed red pepper on top and it was perfect.

Mushroom Lasagna
from Ina Garten

salt and pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pound dried lasagna noodles
4 cups whole milk (I used 2%)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I added this based on reviews)
12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided (I used 1 stick...couldn't quite go for 1 1/2 sticks of butter in one dish)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used about 1/3 tsp)
1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms (I used a little over a pound of button mushrooms), stemmed and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced (added this in)
1 cup freshly ground Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon salt and a splash of oil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Cook the mushrooms with a little salt and pepper until they release juices and are tender, about five minutes.
For the white sauce, bring the milk and garlic to a simmer in a saucepan (I heated milk and garlic in the microwave). Set aside. Melt  butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture all at once. After working in the milk, add 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes, until thick. Set aside off the heat.
To assemble the lasagna, spread some of the sauce in the bottom of an 8x12x2 or 9x13 baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top, then more sauce, then 1/3 of the mushrooms, and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan. Repeat 2 more times, layering noodles, sauce, mushrooms, and Parmesan. Top with a final layer of noodles and sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
Bake the lasagna for 45 minutes, or until the top is browned the sauce is bubbly and hot. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes and serve hot.

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