Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mushroom Lasagna

Ingredients o kosher salt o 12 dried lasagna noodles o For the white sauce: o 4 cups whole milk o 2 bay leaves o dash freshly grated nutmeg o 4 tablespoons unsalted butter o 1/4 cup all-purpose flour o freshly ground black pepper o For the mushrooms: o 2 tablespoons unsalted butter o 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling o 6 cups sliced mushrooms o 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves o 1 cup white wine o For the lasagna: o 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach, washed, dried and stems removed o 3 cups freshly grated Parmesan
Instructions 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water seasoned with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside. 2. In a glass measure, add the milk, bay leaves and nutmeg. Microwave for several minutes until warmed through – don’t boil (or you can do this in a saucepan, too). Discard the bay leaves. 3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add in the flour; whisk until smooth. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add in the hot milk, whisking until blended. Bring to a boil; cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 4. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and toss to coat all pieces with the butter and olive oil. Cook until the mushrooms start to turn golden. Add in the thyme and wine; cook until the liquid has completely evaporated (this could take up to 10 minutes or so, depending on how much liquid the mushrooms express. But don’t worry – it will boil down). Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the white sauce and check for seasoning. 5. Assemble the lasagna: spread a little of the sauce in the bottom of an 8 x 12 x-2 inch baking dish (I use my trusty Pyrex glass one). Place a layer of noodles on top (I “shingle” or overlap 4 noodles) followed by 1/3 of the sauce, 1 cup of the spinach and topped with 1 cup of cheese. Repeat another layer. Place the last 4 noodles on top; spread the remaining sauce over the noodles and sprinkle over the remaining 1 cup of cheese. Drizzle the top with some olive oil and bake, uncovered, until the lasagna is golden brown and bubbling, about 40 minutes. Let the lasagna rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Notes from the Picture-Perfect kitchen: Planning: This elegant lasagna is a perfect dish for entertaining. You can assemble the dish in the morning and refrigerate until about an hour before you want to serve it. You’ll need to tack on a few more minutes in the oven if it’s right out of the fridge. Product Purity: I use baby bella mushrooms. Remember, always cook with a wine that you would drink and buy good Parmesan that you grate yourself. Presentation: This is a definite “family-style” serving casserole. However, if you’re feeling lofty and ambitious, you can make individual gratins for a very special presentation. You’ll need small gratin dishes and a little patience to cut the noodles to size, but if you really want to amp up the wow factor, this will do it in spades Author: Cheryl Beverage Barnes

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