And while I love mushrooms, I'm still a bit wary of mushroom soup, so I decided to make mushroom lasagna. THAT, I would never fail to get excited about. Never mind the fact I've never made one before! I just assumed I'd figure it out as I went along, much in the vein of my usual cooking strategy, haha.
I thought sauteeing the mushrooms in some sort of rich stock concoction would be a good contrast to the tons of creamy bechamel I had in mind. I had various cheeses in the fridge, so threw them in at will. I even cleaned out the pantry of a random assortment of lasagna sheets that I had accumulated so it really became a dinner that was quite frugal and useful - grow your own mushrooms and use whatever you have to hand to create a meal! Just my style.... although next time I would use fresh lasagna sheets just because I like them more.
1-1.5kg mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs butter
handful of fresh herbs (I used tarragon, sage and rosemary)
1/2 tsp each of ground sage and dried rosemary
1 cup red wine
1 cup veggie stock
4 tbsp butter (for the bechamel)
4 tbsp plain flour
4 cups/1 litre milk
2 bay leaves
couple of peppercorns
pinch grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
Assorted cheese - I used feta, ricotta and tasty cheese
lasagna sheets of your choosing
Fresh herbs for the top
1. Preheat oven to 200C.
2. Over a medium heat in a large frying pan, melt butter and saute mushrooms, onion and garlic for 20 minutes or so until they're soft and golden.
3. Add herbs, wine and stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Don't be afraid to be slightly heavy-handed with the salt if you've not used a packet stock. It's ok to be a bit on the liquidy side if you're using dried pasta sheets, as they need to absorb some.
4. While the mushrooms are cooking, melt the 4tbs butter with the 4 tbs flour in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir 1 minute. Add milk, bay leaves, nutmeg and peppercorns. Stir continously until boiled and thickened and add salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaves and peppercorns.
5. Layer the mushrooms and sauce with pasta sheets in between and cheese on top in batches until all are used and you've got a little leftover bechamel for the top. Sprinkle with herbs and extra grated cheese/parmesan.
6. Bake 45 minutes - 1 hour until heated through and cheese is golden brown and bubbling on top.
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