If you think the best lasagna involves a rich, meaty, tomatoey sauce, then try this mushroom lasagna and you may think again. Use your favourite cultivated mushrooms, Portobello, chestnuts, and whites. Or, if you are lucky enough to be able to buy wild mushrooms then substitute with some of these. Do not switch out more than 50 % though, wild mushrooms could overpower the dish.
1 small carrot (finely chopped)
1/2 small onion (finely chopped)
1/2 stick celery (finely chopped)
1 fresh bay leaf (or, 2 dried)
500ml milk (plus a little extra if needed)
55 g plain flour
55 g butter + 25g for baking
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
125g Parmesan (sliced very thinly) + 25g grated
450g mixed mushrooms (wiped and thickly sliced)
Dried lasagna sheets
- Heat the oven to 190°C.
- Put all the vegetables into a large saucepan, add the milk and bay leaves then bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Do not boil the milk. Strain, discard the veg and keep the milk warm.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, the flour and stir vigorously to make a thick paste. Slowly add the milk stirring continuously, lower the heat and stir until the sauce thickens. Season with a little salt and pepper, stir for one minute then put to one side.
- The sauce should have a thick pouring consistency, if too thick, add a little hot milk (cold could make the sauce lumpy).
- Rub a little butter onto the bottom and sides of a lasagna dish. Put one ladleful of bechamel sauce on the bottom and spread around a little and cover with lasagna sheets. Cover the sheets with a generous layer of mushrooms, followed by Parmesan shavings and then bechamel. Repeat to fill your dish or until all the ingredients are used up, always finish with a layer of sauce.
- Sprinkle the grated cheese over and a small dusting of freshly ground pepper. Bake in the centre of the oven for around 30 – 40 minutes until the mushroom lasagna is bubbling and golden brown on the surface.
- Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy with a green salad.
Notes: Farmed mushrooms can be variable, and some will give off a lot of water while cooking. This can make the lasagna softer than you may be used to which makes it a little harder to cut. Do not worry, it will taste just as delicious, simply scoop it out with a large serving spoon rather than cutting with a knife if this happens.