Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Portabello Mushroom Lasagna

If you love mushrooms, you've got to give this a try. Soooooo good. That's all I'm going to tell you.

¾ pound dried lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
2 cups half and half
2 cups whole milk
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, divided
½ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 or 3 sprigs fresh Thyme
1 ½ pounds Portobello mushrooms (stems removed)
1 leek, white part only
1 1/4 cups freshly ground Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

For white sauce: Place the half and half and the milk into a glass bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Set aside.

Melt 1 stick of butter in a large sauce pan. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Pour the milks into the butter-flour mixture all at once. Add 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, sugar, vinegar and nutmeg. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring with a whisk for 3 to 5 minutes until thick. Set aside off the heat.

Slice the mushroom caps ¼ inches thick. Set aside.

Slice the leek lengthwise and rinse with water to clean. Pat dry. Cut each half into slivers.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil, and 2 tablespoons butter in a large sauté pan. When the butter melts, add half the mushrooms and half the leek, sprinkle with salt and cook over medium heat for a bout 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and they release some of their juices. If they become too dry, add a little more oil. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms and leek.

Place a Thyme sprig between your thumb and index finger and pull to release the little leaves into the mushroom mixture. Stir to combine, and remove from heat.

To assemble the lasagna, spread some of the sauce in the bottom of an 8 x 12 baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top, then more sauce, then 1/3 of the mushroom, and ¼ cup grated Parmesan. Repeat 2 more times, ending with sauce and a final sprinkle of Parmesan.

Bake the lasagna for 45 minutes or until the top is browned and the sauce is bubbly and hot. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes and then serve.