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Joe

REC: Randi's Wild Mushroom Lasagna with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce. I was lucky enough to have Randi's

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Posted to Thread #11727 at 1:39 am on Aug 18, 2008

own Oregon porcini mushrooms on hand from last year, and she sent me this recipe:

Wild Mushroom Lasagna with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

For mushroom filling:
3 cups very hot water
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 cup)
2 pounds fresh white or cremini mushrooms
1 large shallot - about a generous 1/4 cup when minced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp. dried
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Mushroom filling:
Soak the porcini in the hot water for approx 20 minutes. When soft, remove from the soaking liquid, chop and put into a bowl. Simmer reserved soaking liquid until reduced to about 1/4 cup.

Chop white mushrooms in a food processor, pulsing in 3 batches until coarsely chopped. Mince the shallot. In a 12-inch heavy skillet heat 1 tablespoon butter over moderate heat and sauté the shallot until soft. Add the white mushrooms with 2 tablespoons butter and cook until they reabsorb their liquid. Add the porcini and reduced soaking liquid and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and add thyme, salt, pepper and Parmesan.

(Filling can be made 1 day ahead just cover and refrigerated, but don't add the cheese until you are ready to use the filling.)

For sauce:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2-cup all-purpose flour
2 quarts whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
Heaping 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 lb Gorgonzola cheese

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan melt butter over moderately low heat and whisk in flour. Cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly, until sauce thickens to the consistency of thick cream. Remove from heat. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir in 1/2 lb. of the Gorgonzola until completely melted. Taste to see if you want more nutmeg, pepper or Gorgonzola.

Cover surface of sauce with waxed paper. (This can also be made 1 day ahead. Just bring sauce to room temperature before proceeding.)

For assembly and baking:
2 15-oz. containers ricotta cheese
Lasagna Noodles (I usually lay out the dry noodles in the pan to make sure I have enough. I throw in a couple of extra in case of product disruption.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and butter a 13 by 9-inch (3-quart) baking dish.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and follow instructions on lasagna package.

Spoon about 1 cup béchamel over bottom of baking dish. Make one layer of noodles. Now, add the ricotta. Just smooth on top of noodles. (It makes a "stronger" base when cutting and serving). Top with a layer of noodles and spread mushroom mixture over them. Top with noodles and spoon béchamel over top.

On a foil-lined large baking sheet bake lasagna in middle of oven until bubbling and golden, about 45 minutes. Let lasagna stand 20 minutes. Lasagna may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring lasagna to room temperature and reheat before serving.

Alternatively, you can stuff the giant shells with the mushroom mixture and top with the béchamel. It's a bit easier to assemble and serve. I haven't tried freezing leftover béchamel but I think it would work just fine as you might not need all the sauce.

Mangia!

[Joe's notes: I found the sauce a bit thin, and had to add a little more flour. I added layers of sauce under each pasta layer, yet I still had a lot left over (waiting happily in the freezer). So, next time I will start with six cups of milk instead of 2 quarts. I used the whole pound of Gorgonzola, and I was surprised that the blue cheese taste mellowed with baking. My family was swooning, though no one could guess what was in it--the flavors blend so well. For the ricotta, I had the firm type so I beat a couple of eggs into it. Next time I will consider just a little extra Parmesan on top for browning.

This was a special occasion so I made fresh pasta, which melted in our mouths, but I'm sure this would be equally delicious with regular lasagna noodles.

It took longer for mine to bake, maybe because I added those extra layers of sauce. The leftovers were even better the next day.]


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