Meaty Mushroom Lasagna

One of my family's favorite meals is Giada Delaurentiis's Meaty Mushroom Lasagna. The taste is truly amazing. I remember the first time I made this, I was so proud. I had never made lasagna before. The hardest part was making the b├ęchamel sauce. I thought my arm was going to fall off. The whole process of cooking the lasagna took me almost three hours! Now, I get it done in a little less than two hours. 

For the Sauce:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups warm whole milk
1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch ground nutmeg
8 ounces thinly sliced Prosciutto, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more if needed
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more if needed

For the Filling:

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus extra as needed
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
3 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 pounds assorted mushrooms quartered,
I used cremini, oyster, and maitaki
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
9 lasagna noodles, plain or spinach
1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil for drizzling

Start with the sauce:

Use a 2 quart sauce pan and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add the warm milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick and smooth, about 8 minutes (do not allow the mixture to boil). Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheeses and nutmeg. Stir until the cheeses have melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the prosciutto, 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper.

Next is the filling:

Use a large skillet and heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, rosemary and thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden and the liquid has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper.

Cooking the Noodles:

Place a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Assemble the Masterpiece:

Ladle 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. (Be very careful handling the noodles when they are hot.) Lay 3 lasagna noodles on top of sauce. Spoon 1/2 of the mushroom mixture on top of the pasta. Ladle 1 cup of the sauce over the mushroom mixture and lay 3 more noodles on top. Repeat the layers using the remaining mushroom mixture, 1 cup of sauce, and the remaining 3 noodles. Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with 1 cup smoked mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Drizzle top with olive oil and bake until top is golden and filling is bubbling about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Cut the lasagna into wedges and serve.

I followed the whole recipe except for adding the sliced prosciutto. I have made this recipe vegan too. I added non-dairy milk and cheese. When I first discovered this recipe I was not eating meat, but I love mushrooms and had to try it. I sometimes forget to add the thyme leaves. I grow my own rosemary and it tastes delightful combined with the mushrooms and onions. 

All in all, I would say this is a great recipe for the family. I would highly recommend trying it. Allow yourself some extra time if this is your first time making the Meaty Mushroom Lasagna. This dish is well worth the time with or without meat.

Do you have a favorite lasagna recipe that you would like to share? Has anyone tried this recipe before? 

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