Wild Mushroom Lasagna
There are certain things The Husband loves - mushrooms, white sauce and pasta are definitely on that list. So when I saw Ina Garten make this Wild Mushroom Lasagna that incorporated all 3 of those things, I knew I had to make this for him.
The Husband raved about this and though I'm normally not a fan of dishes with white sauces, I really enjoyed this as well. While this really was wonderful, The Husband tried something that took the lasagna over the top - he drizzled the wedges with White Truffle Oil. Oh my goodness. Sinful. If you have White Truffle Oil, I would definitely suggest drizzling the finished product with a tiny bit (a little goes a long way!). Actually, White Truffle Oil is something I'd suggest adding to your pantry if you enjoy truffles.
I was a little hesitant upon starting this dish because I had never made a white sauce before, but it couldn't have been easier. This is a simple recipe to make, but definitely time consuming to do it right.
There are a few small changes from the original recipe that I have included in the recipe below. Those changes include: increasing the amount of mushrooms and Parmesan cheese, as well as optional inclusions of Gruyere cheese and red pepper flakes.
One quick note - as to the mushrooms, I used an exotic mushroom blend that I found at Whole Foods. This blend included oyster mushrooms, portabellos and shiitakes. If you can't find a blend such as this, portabellos will be fine!
Wild Mushroom Lasagna
Good olive oil
3/4 pound dried lasagna noodles
4 cups whole milk
12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 1/2 pounds portabello mushrooms
2 cups freshly ground Parmesan
Shredded Gruyere cheese (optional)
Red pepper flakes (optional)
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.
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, nutmeg and red pepper flakes (if using), and cook over medium-low heat, stirring first with the wooden spoon and then with a whisk, for 3 to 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 8 by 12 by 2-inch baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top, then more sauce, then 1/3 of the mushrooms, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan and shredded Gruyere cheese (if using). Repeat 2 more times, layering noodles, sauce, mushrooms, Parmesan and Gruyere. Top with a final layer of noodles and sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and Gruyere.
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.