mushroom and spinach lasagna

Meatless Monday: Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna

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mushroomspinachlasagna10

FMITK has hopped on to the Meatless Monday bandwagon! Yay for vegetarianism… sometimes!  If  vegetarian recipes aren’t your thing, you’ll hardly miss the meat (or the red sauce!) with this recipe. The mushrooms lend a hearty, “meaty”, feel and the white sauce adds a nice richness. Try it, please.

I am not a fan of making any more dishes than necessary. And this recipe is kind of a lot of dishes. Sawwwry, but it’s totally worth it, I promise. The original Ina Garten version of this recipe potentially uses a lot of cookware (4 pieces, pots alone!). The smitten kitchen adaptation got the number of pots down to 3. I managed to get it down to 1 pot, 1 pan by a) using the same pot to boil the pasta and the make the bechemel and b) cooking the mushrooms and spinach in batches in the same pan and using the baking dish to hold the cooked batches of veggies, then throwing all the veggies back in the  pan when ready to assemble.

*hi fives a million angels*

But there’s still the colander, cutting board, knife and bowl you used to heat up the milk in. But still. Totally worth it. And the baking dish. Still worth it.

mushroom and spinach lasagna

You’ll need milk, flour, spinach, lasagna noodles, nutmeg, salt (I used blacktruffle salt because I’m fancy sometimes), mushrooms (I used a combo of portobello and cremini), garlic, parmesan cheese and butter.

mushroom and spinach lasagna

Clean the gills from the portobellos, if using. Remove the stems and slice the mushrooms into 1/4″ thick slices.

mushroom and spinach lasagna

Saute the veggies in batches. Half of the mushrooms at a time, then the spinach. Combine the mushrooms and spinach back together and set aside.

mushroom and spinach lasagna

Make the bechemel – Warm together milk and garlic in a microwavable safe bowl.
I chose to brown my butter first.
Because, brown butter.
Add in the flour and cook for about a minute. Gradually add in the warm milk and garlic mixture. It will look lumpy and scary and ruined at first. It’s fine. Keep going.

mushroom and spinach lasagna

Once half of the milk has been incorporated, pour in the rest and whisk together. Add in salt, pepper and nutmeg.

mushroom and spinach lasagna

You’ll know the bechemel is thick enough when you can run a whisk through and there’s a little trail left behind. See it?

 

mushroom and spinach lasagna

Layer time! Start with a bit of the bechemel on the bottom of the baking pan. Then layer
noodles
bechemel
mushrooms and spinach
parmesan cheese.
Do that two more times. The last layer should be noodle, sauce, parmesan.

mushroom and spinach lasagna

Throw it into a 375F oven and wait the longest 45 minutes EVOOOR.

 

mushroom and spinach lasagna

All done! Now you have to wait another 15 minutes (I know, I know! Unbearable!) so that it can set up real nice and not spill out everywhere once you cut into it.

 

mushroom and spinach lasagna

Now we can eat.

mushroom and spinach lasagna

See all those delicious mushroomy, spinachy layers! YASSSS.

 

Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna

adapted from smitten kitchen, who adapted from ina
makes 6-8 servings
Ingredients

Salt
Olive oil
3/4 pound dried lasagna noodles
1 large clove garlic, minced
4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used less, because this seemed like a lot)
1 1/2 pounds cremini or portobello mushrooms (I used half cremini, half portobello)
12 oz fresh baby spinach (or frozen spinach that’s been thawed, squeezed of excess water and chopped)
1 cup freshly grated parmesan

Directions

Bring a large, wide pot of water to boil with salt and a splash of oil  – that helps keep your noodles from sticking together as they drain. Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

for the bechemel

Place milk and garlic in a microwavable safe bowl  and heat for 2-3 minutes in microwave and set it aside. Melt 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons or 1 stick) butter in the pot you cooked the lasagna in. Optional: You can be patient and brown the butter here for an added depth of flavor – just cook the butter until it starts to turn brown and smell nutty and delicious.  Add the flour and cook for one minute over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon. Pour in the hot milk, a little at a time at first and stirring until combined. It’ll look lumpy and scary but it’s fine, keep adding milk. Once you’ve added half of it, you can add the second half all at once, along with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I used truffle salt, mmm!), the pepper, and nutmeg. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring or whisking frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until thick. Set aside.

for the mushrooms and spinach

Discard portobello mushroom stems and/or trim the ends of the cremini stems. Slice mushrooms 1/4-inch thick. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter over medium in the bottom of the large, wide pot you used to cook the noodles earlier, or in a large sauté pan. Cook half the mushrooms with a couple pinches of salt for about 5 minutes, or until they are tender and release some of their juices, tossing to make sure they cook evenly. Repeat with additional oil and butter, and remaining mushrooms. Set mushrooms aside.  Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil in the same pan and saute spinach until just wilted. Set aside with mushrooms.

put it all together

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Spread some of the sauce in the bottom of an 8 x 12 or 9 x 13 baking dish. (Ina recommends the former, I only had the latter; if you’d like to freeze or give this dish as a gift, remember to use a foil pan). Arrange a layer of noodles on top, then more sauce (about 1/4 of what remains), 1/3 of the mushrooms and spinach mix and 1/4 cup grated parmesan. Repeat two more times then top with a final layer of noodles, your remaining sauce and last 1/4 cup of parmesan.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is browned and the sauce is bubbly. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. To freeze for future use, allow it to cool completely and wrap two to three times in plastic wrap before freezing.

 

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