If you are a mushroom lover, this Mushroom and Red Pepper Lasagna is for you. With both dried and fresh mushrooms in a rich béchamel sauce, it’s deeply satisfying. The carnivores in your home will not miss their meat with this umami bomb.
A salad or green vegetable on the side is all you need to complete the meal. Well, a nice Chardonnay wouldn’t go amiss either. Read on for the recipe.
Mushroom and Red Pepper Lasagna
Time: 2 hours
Yield: 8 servings
Equipment: whisk, saucepan, knives, bowls, measuring spoons and cup, 9×13-inch glass baking dish, baking sheet, foil
For the sauce:
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 3¾ cups milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces crumbled cream cheese
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
For fillings and assembly:
- 2 cups of dried porcini or mixed mushrooms
- 2 cups (or so) boiling water
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 2 red peppers, diced (or fire roast them first and then dice them if you have the time)
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 8 cups (about 2 lbs) brown button mushrooms, diced
- 12 lasagna noodles (I use the oven ready ones or 3 fresh sheets so I don’t have to have another pot boiling with the kind you have to cook, drain and cool to use – but use them up if that’s what you’ve got!)
- 1 lb white cheddar cheese, grated
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
- Chilli flakes (optional)
For the sauce:
- Heat a heavy saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter.
- Whisk in the flour and cook for about 3 minutes (this is so the flour doesn’t taste “raw”).
- Whisk in the milk ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly for about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cream cheese and chilli flakes. Set aside.
For the filling and assembly:
- Preheat the oven to 375℉ and butter a 9×13-inch glass baking dish.
- Place the mushrooms in a medium bowl and pour the boiling water to just cover them. Place another bowl on them so they stay in the water. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a skillet and fry the red peppers until soft. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the onion, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to the pan and fry until the onions are soft – about 5 minutes.
- Add the button mushrooms and simmer for about 10 minutes – most of the water should be out of them.
- Strain the dried mushrooms to collect any little rocks or debris and add them and the strained liquid to the frying pan. Cook until liquid is mostly absorbed. Add the red peppers back into the mixture.
- Pour a third of the sauce on the bottom of the pan and place 4 lasagna noodles to cover.
- Spread half the mushroom mixture over the noodles and a third of the cheddar cheese.
- Place 4 more lasagna noodles and a third more of the sauce followed by the other half of the mushroom mixture, a third of the cheese, the last 4 lasagna noodles, sauce and all remaining cheddar and the parmesan.
- Set the baking dish on a larger baking sheet and bake for 45 – 50 minutes uncovered.
- Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let sit 10 to 20 minutes before cutting.
- Enjoy sprinkled with chopped parsley and chilli flakes if desired.