This dairy and mushroom lasagna is meatless so all Vegetarian Readers can feel free to read on!
Keyword: bechamel, vegetarian
Skill Level: Intermediate
Author: Marilyn Lesniak
2poundsfresh mushrooms(can use a combination of cremini and button)
1package dried mixed wild mushrooms
4tablespoonsfresh thymeabout 1 bunch
2cupsfresh ricotta cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½cupfreshly grated Parmesan cheese
8ouncesgrated white cheddar or Fontina cheese
16pasta sheets or fresh lasagna(enough for 4 layers, but I make 2 layers)
8ouncesgrated Gruyere cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wipe mushrooms clean, trim stems and thickly slice. Reconstitute dried mushrooms in cup boiling water, let soak for 30 minutes, then drain and rinse, squeeze dry and roughly chop. Set aside.
Boil lasagna noodles in deep pan. Add enough water to cover and boil 11 minutes ubtil noddles are tender. Do not ocer boil as they become hard to work with.
Heat a large saute pan on medium high heat (do not add oil or butter) and saute the mushrooms, and about half of the fresh thyme leaves, in batches, stirring constantly until they have begun to lose their moisture and are nice and fragrant and browned. The mushrooms will pop and sizzle, so do them in batches so as not to crowd the pan. Put the mushrooms aside on a plate, and finally add the reconstituted dried mushrooms for just a minute or so. Set aside.
In the same pan, heat the olive oil and butter and saute the shallots for a few minutes. Add the Marsala and let it simmer for a minute, scraping the bottom of the pan. When the liquid has reduced, sprinkle the flour over the shallots and stir to combine. Stir for another minute. Combine the milk and half-and-half and add it to the pan in a stream, stirring constantly. Whisk to combine everything well, and then cook until the sauce thickens. Do not let mixture boil. Turn off the heat and add the grated cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese in and stir to melt it, too. If the sauce seems too thick, add a little more milk. Taste it and season with salt and pepper as necessary.
Whisk together the ricotta and the two eggs. Set aside.
Lay down a layer of pasta. Scatter 1/3 of the mushrooms across the top. Then 1/3 of the ricotta cheese, then ¼ of the sauce.
Add another layer of pasta, and repeat. When you get to the top layer of pasta, you will be adding the remaining sauce. Spread evenly over the entire top. Then add the Gruyere cheese evenly sprinkled over the sauce. Cover loosely with foil that’s been sprayed with oil so that the cheese doesn’t stick, and bake for about 40 minutes, or until everything is bubbling and hot throughout. If you want some color, slide it under the broiler for a minute. Scatter the remaining fresh thyme over the top and serve. Serves 8.