Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cheesy Mushroom Lasagna

We usually stick with your typical lasagna- red tomato sauce and either ground beef or Italian sausage, with basil, ricotta cheese, and Parmesan.  We decided to switch it up this time and use the fresh oyster mushrooms we had recently purchased.  I knew a tomato based sauce would over-power the flavor of the mushroom so we opted for a white cheese sauce.  Even though this lasagna is vegetarian, the mushrooms add a meatiness to the dish and they have a great flavor which complements the rich creamy white sauce.  We topped the lasagna with some roasted cherry tomatoes to add a little brightness to the dish.  Overall, it was rich and delicious, a definite recipe to pull out when you are trying to please meat eaters and vegetarians alike. 
1 package lasagna noodles*
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz wild oyster mushrooms, chopped
12 oz baby bella mushrooms, chopped (about 3 cups)
2 T olive oil
4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) plus 2 Tablespoons
1/2 cup flour
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 t salt
1 t nutmeg
2 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup (or more) cherry tomatoes, halved
*Note: I used the no-bake noodles, and it worked out okay but it was very thin... Next time I will try regular noodles that are boiled first to make it a little thicker.  Either way you probably won't need quite the whole box, depending on how large your casserole dish is.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  If you use regular noodles, heat a large pot of water to boil.  In a separate pot, heat the milk until it is hot, without boiling.  In a non-stick skillet, heat 1 T olive oil over medium heat.   Add the onion and saute for about 5-7 minutes until they are becoming soft.  Season with 1/2 t salt.  Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes longer.  Add the two tablespoons butter, and when melted, add the mushrooms, and the remaining tablespoon of oil.  Stir to combine and saute for about 10 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and tender.  Season with more salt if needed.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour to create a roux.  Let it cook for a minute or two, and then add the hot milk.
Add the black pepper and 1/2 t salt.  Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens.  Freshly grate the nutmeg into the sauce, and finally add 1 cup of Parmesan cheese.
Begin to layer your lasagna.  Spread a thin layer of the white sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Layer the noodles, more sauce, 1/4 of the mushrooms, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.  

Continue to build the lasagna layers in this order, until you have done 4 layers.  On the top, spread any remaining sauce and cheese.  If you are using no-bake noodles, it's important to make sure all the noodles are covered in sauce so they will cook through. Bake for 40 minutes or until cheese is starting to bubble and turn golden.  Remove and add the fresh tomatoes on top, and bake for 5 minutes longer.  Take the lasagna out of the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes before serving.   Sprinkle the parsley on top and enjoy!


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