One of the worst things for a foodie in the fall/winter is an oven that doesn’t work. A little over a month ago, we noticed that our oven wasn’t preheating or holding a temperature properly. We couldn’t trust it to bake anything (especially not a turkey – and our annual US Thanksgiving dinner is just a few weeks away). When we learned it would cost hundreds of dollars to repair, we decided to look into a new one.
The idea of getting a double oven popped into our heads thanks to my Dad, who recently upgraded himself. We don’t have space for two full sized ovens, but the type we got is perfect – it fits into a standard oven space, but does away with the bottom drawer. There is a small oven on top, and a full sized oven on the bottom.
We find ourselves in situations often enough where we are cooking things at two different temperatures so the luxury of being able to do both *at the same time* was certainly appealing. Our oven arrived yesterday, and so far we’re thrilled. We put it to the test by hosting a meal for friends that included a number of baked dishes.
The highlight of last night’s meal was its first course: A wild mushroom lasagna. We’re thrilled to have found this recipe – now we have three awesome lasagna recipes in our repertoire: A super simple one (spinach ricotta), a somewhat healthy one (with pesto and asparagus), and now this one. I see now we need to make the other two soon as they are both blog worthy as well! Lasagnas are perfect for dinner parties because you can make them in advance, then bake before the guests arrive, which gives you time to clean up.
This particular lasagna uses more mushrooms than we’ve ever thrown into one dish. It’s really quite decadent, but oh so tasty. Definitely more labour intensive than the other lasagnas we tend to make, but oh so worth it.
Wild Mushroom Lasagna
Adapted slightly from this recipe on Epicurious.
For mushroom filling
- 3 cups water
- 40 grams dried porcini mushrooms (about half of what the original recipe called for, but at $5 for 20 grams, we figured 40 grams was more than enough… and I think it was.)
- 2 pounds fresh white mushrooms
- 2 large zucchini (about 1 pound)
- 1 large onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 6 tablespoons Sherry, divided
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 2-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 cups whole milk (we did about 3 cups whole, and 2 cups skim… what we had on hand)
- 4-1/2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- eighteen 7- by 3 1/2-inch sheets dry no-boil lasagne (about 1 pound)
- 3-4 cups mozzarella – we used part skim, which seemed fine.
- Additional 1-1/2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan (about 1/2 cup)
- Boil water, remove from heat, and add porcini. Soak for 20 minutes.
- Strain out porcini (reserve the soaking liquid), and rinse. Chop and transfer to a very large bowl.
- Bring reserved liquid back to a boil, and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup. Pour through a paper towel lined sieve, and add to porcini.
- Meanwhile, quarter the white mushrooms and pulse in a food processor in 3 batches until finely chopped.
- Cook mushrooms in batches – 1/3 of the mushrooms at a time, with 1 tablespoon butter with 2 tablespoons sherry for each batch. Cook until the liquid absorbs off and mushrooms begin to brown. Once the batch is cooked, add to porcini bowl.
- Cut zucchini into 1/4 inch dice and cook in 1 tablespoon butter until soft and beginning to brown. Add to mushroom mixture.
- Chop onion and mince garlic. Cook onion in remaining tablespoon of butter, until soft. Add garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir onion into mushroom mixture until combined.
(Filling may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.)
- In a 3-quart heavy saucepan melt butter over moderately low heat and whisk in flour.
- Cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes and whisk in milk.
- Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, and then simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes.
- Stir in Parmesan, mustard, and salt.
- Remove pan from heat and cover surface of sauce with wax paper.
(Sauce may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring sauce to room temperature before proceeding.)
Assemble lasagna & bake:
- Preheat oven to 375°F. and butter a 13 x 9-inch (3-quart) baking dish.
- Spread 1-1/4 cups sauce in baking dish and cover with 3 pasta sheets, making sure they don’t touch each other.
- Spread one third filling over pasta sheets in dish and top with 3 more pasta sheets, gently pressing down layers to remove air pockets.
- Top pasta sheets with a generous layer of mozzarella.
- Add more sauce, then pasta, then filling, pasta, mozzarella, sauce, etc. Continue layering and ending with sauce topped with mozzarella. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
- Bake lasagna on a foil-lined baking sheet in the middle of the oven until bubbling and golden, about 45 minutes.
- Let stand 20 minutes before eating.