I made this at the beginning of last October. And I’ve been hemming and hawing since then whether to post it or not. (You see the silly things that keep me up at night? Oy.)
Yes, I made it back in October. Before the madness of holiday cooking began. I made it on a day that was chilly, and more importantly, the kids were occupied.
I never make lasagne. Not because I don’t love it, but merely because of the time commitment and mess it makes. I mean, my kitchen looked like a tornado went through after I was done with this.
Having said that, however, the holidays are behind us, it’s the New Year, and maybe you all are feeling ambitious. It’s time to take your kitchen by storm – literally, in this case.
I don’t know if it was the day, the moment, the discovery that I’m more of a béchamel sauce gal than a red sauce one. All of the above? But this lasagne was fabulous. It was well worth the effort and clean-up. So before you lose that urge to kick butt in the kitchen, go create a mess with your pots and pans too. You won’t regret it.
Note: Deb adapted it from Ina, and I refined the cooking/prep even further to cut down on the number of pots and time. I kept the other ingredients in tact, but did add sausage (which is completely optional if you don’t eat meat.)
Mushroom Lasagne (with or without sausage)
Prep/Active time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
• Olive oil
• 3/4 pound dried lasagna noodles
• 1 large clove garlic, minced
• 4 cups whole milk
• 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, ends trimmed and sliced 1/4-inch thick
• 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
• 3/4 pound ground sausage (optional)
Preheat your oven to 375°F.
Bring a large pot of water to boil with salt and a splash of oil (which help keep your noodles from sticking.) Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Make béchamel: In a large saucepan, bring the milk and garlic to simmer. Melt 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter. Add the flour and cook for one minute over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon. Pour in the hot milk, a little at a time at first and stirring until combined. Once you’ve added half of it, you can add the second half all at once, along with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring or whisking frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until thick. Set aside.
Prepare the sausage: In the pot you used to make the noodles, heat a little olive oil over medium-high. Cook the sausage for about 3 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no pink remains. Drain and place into a bowl. Set aside.
Prepare mushrooms: In the same pot, over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons olive oil and 4 tablespoons butter. Cook the mushrooms with a couple pinches of salt for about 5 minutes, or until they are tender and release some of their juices, tossing to make sure they cook evenly.
Assemble lasagna: Spread some of the sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. In three rows, arrange a layer of noodles on top, then more sauce (about 1/4 of what remains), 1/3 of the mushrooms, 1/3 of the sausage (if using), and 1/4 cup grated parmesan. Repeat two more times then top with a final layer of noodles, your remaining sauce and last 1/4 cup of parmesan. (Trim the ends of the noodles so they’re even.)
Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is browned and the sauce is bubbly. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. To freeze for future use, allow it to cool completely and wrap two to three times in plastic wrap before freezing.