Mushroom Lasagna

This mushroom lasagna,which combines the very varied flavors of the different mushrooms with the strength of the asiago cheese, begs for home made pasta but, if you don’t have the time or passion to make the pasta, do use a no-boil variety.  We like Barilla.  The problem with using a lasagna pasta that requires boiling is that it becomes gummy and tough.  It’s actually harder to work with than home-made or no-boil and the additional handing (after boiling) makes it even tougher.

You’ll need:

1 pound homemade sheets of Pasta  (or 2 boxes of no-boil lasagna)
½ pound fresh White button mushrooms
½ pound fresh Cremini mushrooms
½ pound fresh Shitake mushrooms
½ pound fresh Oyster mushrooms
1 ounce Dried porcini mushrooms (unless you’re lucky enough to have access to fresh)
1 stick, ½ cup unsalted Butter
2 cups  freshly grated Asiago or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 cups Whipping cream
Salt and pepper

Soak the dried porcini in a cup of just-boiled water for about 20 minutes.  When the mushrooms have rehydrated, remove them from the liquid.  Reserve that liquid for the sauce.

Wipe the fresh mushrooms with a paper towel to remove the dirt. Remove the stems from the shitakes. Quarter the mushrooms and then chop them coarsely in a food processor.

Melt the butter in a large pan and when it starts to foam add the chopped mushrooms.  Resist stirring the mushrooms until they give up their liquid and then soak it back up. Add the reserved porcini liquid, making sure you leave the grit behind in the cup.

Add whipping cream and continue cooking, at a low simmer, for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Build the layers of the lasagna in a casserole dish, starting with the mushroom sauce, then adding the pasta, then more mushroom sauce, then the grated cheese, more noodles and so on until you have four or five layers, ending with cheese.

If you’re using homemade or no-boil pasta – which, please, do – use a little more sauce than you may be used to, because we’re going to bake this pasta a little longer than you might think in order to cook the pasta fully.

Now cover the casserole with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and cook for another 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the edges are just starting to get crispy.