I love making lasagna for company. It’s not so easy, but it’s something that can be made ahead of time, making the day-of much easier to handle. This lasagna is a little different and “dressier” than the classic cheese-and-tomato-sauce or meat-and-tomato-sauce kind. Plus, it is a nice filling main dish! We all really enjoyed it, and I’m glad I made the entire box of lasagna noodles and made a little extra of this for the freezer. That’s right, lasagna is a great freezer food!
I made this over the course of two days. The first morning, I washed, peeled, de-stemmed, sliced, and sauteed the mushrooms. I refrigerated them and waited until nighttime when Richie was sleeping to do the rest. That night, I made the bechamel and assembled the lasagna. I put it in the fridge. I took it out a few hours before dinner the next night, baked it for the regular amount of time, and voila, a no-fuss main dish for my dinner party.
Does anyone else peel their mushrooms? I don’t know why I do it, and I guess I don’t have to clean them if I do. I actually find it kind of fun to do, so maybe that’s why whenever I cook mushrooms I sit there peeling off the outer layer. Any thoughts on this?
Mushroom Lasagna, adapted from Ina Garten
- Kosher salt
- Olive oil
- 12 lasagna noodles (3/4 pound)
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 stock unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms (I used plain old white buttons)
- 1 cup shredded muenster cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain and lay each noodle out on a piece of wax paper so they don’t stick together.
3. Make the bechamel: Heat the milk either in a small pot or in the microwave.
4. Melt the stick of butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and stir constantly with a wooden spoon for one minute.
5. Pour the milk into the butter-flour mixture all at once and stir until combined.
6. Add 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon and then a whisk until thickened. Set aside.
7. Separate the mushrooms from the stems and discard the stems (or save them for mushroom broth!). Slice the caps into 1/4 inch thick slices.
8. Cook the mushrooms: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan. All half the mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and release some juices. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms.
9. (This is a step I didn’t do, and resulted in a watery lasagna, nothing like Ina’s picture: drain the mushrooms!)
10. Assemble the lasagna: Spread some sauce on the bottom of an 8x12x2 baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top (3) then sauce, mushrooms, and cheese. Repeat two more times. Top with a final later of noodles and the sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
11. Bake the lasagna for 45 minutes, until the top is browned and the sauce is bubbly and hot.
12. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.