This is probably the most unusual lasagna I’ve ever had. Based on a Provençal-style recipe, this dish is just Portobello mushrooms, white sauce, noodles, and Parmesan cheese, with a few spices thrown in for good measure. The flavor is completely different from your regular tomato-based lasagna. I wouldn’t say that it’s better, it’s just different. Your really can’t compare the two. That’s alright, though, as there is plenty of room in my heart for lasagna in all its forms.
The process is a bit complicated, but well worth the effort. Your family/guests/neighbors-that-wander-over-because-it-smells-so-good will be amazed at your culinary prowess.
Firstly, toss some lasagna noodles in a pot of boiling water.
Notice how I used whole wheat pasta to be healthier. It will totally cancel out the buttery cream sauce.
Before you start working on the next part, heat the milk in the microwave for about 3 ½ minutes.
The original recipe says to heat it in a separate saucepan, but there’s no way I’m doing that many dishes.
Now, heat a stick of butter in a large saucepan.
Remember, the wheat pasta makes it all okay.
Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute.
Cajun cooking lesson of the day: This is a roux!
Add the hot (not boiling) milk, as well as salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Whisk it all together!
Once the sauce has thickened, set it aside, off the heat. Then melt some olive oil and butter in a large skillet.
Remember: whole wheat noodles. It’s a fair trade.
After removing the stems and slicing the mushrooms, add them to the skillet with some minced garlic and cook until softened.
Portobello mushrooms are so great and meaty that they really hold their own in this dish.
Once all the mushrooms are softened, it’s time to assemble!
I honestly can’t think of moderately clever captions for each of these photos, so I’m just going to allow them to speak for themselves. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all.
Just to clear up any confusion, this is a layer of noodles, then sauce.
Again, before the final layer of noodles, sauce, and cheese, sprinkle some Parmesan on this layer of mushrooms.
What can I say? I was trying to layer lasagna while balancing a tripod over the stove.
It’s no easy task.
However, I think you should be hopeful. If I can make this for the first time while taking photos and trying not to boil my camera, you can easily make this on your own.
You can do it!
Portobello Mushroom Lasagna
Recipe adapted from “Barefoot Contessa at Home” by Ina Garten
¾ lb. dried Lasagna Noodles
4 cups Milk
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, divided
½ cup Flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
1 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
1 ½ lbs. Portobello Mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, adding a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of oil. Add lasagna noodles and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside.
For the sauce, pour the milk into a microwavable container and heat for about 3 ½ minutes, until heated, but not boiling. Meanwhile, melt 1 stick of butter in a large saucepan. Add flour and cook for 1 minute over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. Pour the hot milk into the roux (the butter mixture…I’m Cajun! It’s a roux!).
Anyway, whisk the milk, butter, and flour together for about 5 minutes, until thick. Set aside, off the heat.
Break the stems off the mushroom caps and discard them (the stems, not the mushrooms). Slice the mushrooms ½ inch thick and finely chop the garlic. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. When the butter melts, add half the mushrooms and half the garlic, sprinkle with salt, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. If they look begin to look too dry, add a little more oil. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms and set all cooked mushrooms aside.
To assemble the lasagna, spread some of the sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. Top with a layer of noodles, then sauce, then mushrooms, then Parmesan cheese. Starting with noodles, repeat for another layer or two, depending on how much sauce and mushrooms you use per layer. Top with a final layer of noodles and sauce, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
Bake the lasagna for 45 minutes, until the top is browned and the sauce is bubbly. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.