Wild Mushroom Lasagna

Sometimes food is delicious and beautiful, and sometimes food is delicious, and ugly.  That may be this dish.  I contemplated not posting it all, since it wasn’t the most loverly, but it is so darn delicious.  And the truth is, it isn’t that ugly, it’s just not the most photogenic dish ever.  But it IS really really delicious.  So, I’m sorry about that.  But, just try making it, and I promise you’ll forgive me for my less-than-sexy photos.

I buy fresh lasagna sheets, so that I don’t have to boil them first, I also just think that the quality is way better.  Whole Foods sells fresh gluten free lasagna sheets, that is what I do for my gluten-ly challenged love, but most markets have regular fresh lasagna sheets.  They also have boxes of no boil-dried lasagna sheets.  Both of those will work and they will work exactly the same.

This recipe is an amazing dish during the fall and winter.  It’s great for a dinner party.  You can do all of the work ahead of time, and just pop it in the oven when guests arrive while they start appetizers and cocktails.   This doesn’t even have to be fancy, party food.   Weeks like this (Thanksgiving), I cook something big and hearty Sunday night and eat it every night this week, so that I am free to prepare for Thanksgiving day  overnight after work.  Lasagna is always a great meal to reheat in the microwave.

In terms of serving the meal, I love this with a massaged Kale salad, although for my dinner party I served it with my idea of a perfect fall salad.  I like bitter greens when I can get them and serve it with pear and bleu cheese.  I make a simple vinaigrette using walnut oil and it is heaven.  Walnut oil usually isn’t too cheap, but it lasts a really long time and is an awesome ingredient.  Drizzle it over simple winter soups for an added punch of flavor.  Finish a piece of grilled or pan fried fish with a light drizzle.  Roast broccoli in the oven at a high temperature tossed in a combination of olive and walnut oil and you’ll be in heaven.  Keep the walnut oil stored in your refrigerator and it will last up to a year – just bring it to room temperature when you are ready to use it.

In my lasagna I add a chiffonade of kale to the ricotta mixture.  It helps lighten the rich lasagna.  I also use as many different mushrooms as I can get my hands on.  The absolute best is to get them from the farmers market – they always have the most interesting varieties.  If you’re going for store bought, I reccomend shiitake, baby bells, trumpet, and maitake.  I also always buy myself a metal, disposable tray so that I am not having to  baked on cheese off any of my dishes!

I love this dish,  it is homey, and flavorful, and comforting.  Hope you like it just as much!

wild mushrooms in lasagna

Wild Mushroom Lasagna

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 tablespoon butter

2 large (about 4 oz) shallot, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup white wine

2 lbs. mixed mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup Milk (or goats milk)

24 oz Ricotta

Salt and Pepper

2 oz Parmesan, grated, 2 tablespoons reserved

6 oz Fontina, grated

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons Parsley, chopped

1/2 cup tightly packed kale, stems removed and sliced into 1/4 inch strips

1 lb fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces

14 oz fresh lasagna sheets

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and heat butter and olive oil.  Add shallots and cook until softened but not brown.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly.  Add mushrooms and toss to coat in oil.  Turn heat up to high and cook for 1-2 minutes to brown the mushrooms.  Add wine and turn heat down to medium-low and simmer until the wine has been absorbed into the mushrooms.  Season with a pinch of salt and a few cracks of black pepper.

In a mixing bowl combine ricotta, lemon zest, and parsley.  Stir in kale and season with another small pinch of salt and black pepper.

In 1 more small bowl combine the fontina, the rest of the parmesan, and the torn mozzarella.

At the bottom of your baking dish or metal disposable tray spread a thin layer of the ricotta.  Cover the tray with a layer of lasagna sheets.  Add another thin layer of ricotta mixture.  Sprinkle with a layer mushrooms and then dot with cheese.  Top with another layer of lasagna.  Repeat this 2 more times – lasagna, ricotta, mushrooms, cheese.  On the final layer, cover the lasagna with ricotta and cheese (no mushrooms).

Cover the baking tray with foil.  Bake at 325 for 45-50 minutes (if you make this ahead and stick it in the oven from cold, this will take a bit longer than an hour).  When ready to check, remove the foil.  Use a butter knife and slide it into the center of the lasagna.  Remove the knife and touch it with your fingers.  If it is hot, then the lasagna is ready.  If not, cover it and continue to cook.  When the lasagna is hot through, turn the broiler on and place the lasagna 4 inches away from the broiler but lined up with the broiler.  Keep under the broiler for 1-3 minutes until the crust is golden and bubbling.  Allow to sit for a few minutes before slicing.

Mushroom Lasagna

walnut pear salad table settingpear walnut saladpear walnut salad

slice of mushroom lasagna



San Diego, CA