But all you really need to know is that I have been cooking up a storm.
What got me back here was Kinnon asking for a recipe for the lasagna I made on the weekend when she came over to bring us some art. The recipe is from Rachael Ray’s magazine (the December/January 2008 issue).
It is a little bit labour intensive, but the results are well worth it. Plus it lasted us for 3 meals and it is vegetarian so it is a winner all around. Great for dinner parties, just get it in the oven before guests get there and you have a solid 45 min to entertain and have the first course before you need to go back in the kitchen.
Portobello Lasagna with Basil Cream
Prep Time: 30 min
Bake Time: 45 min (plus cooling)
5 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups skim milk, heated
4 cloves of garlic – 1 smashed, 3 finely chopped
1/2 pound whole wheat lasagna noodles (really 9 noodles total)
2 large onions, chopped
Three 6-ounce packages of portobello mushroom slices (or 2 pounds whole stemmed and sliced)
1 bunch basil, stems discarded (or 2 tables spoons of the basil puree they sell in the herb section)
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1. In a medium saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter over low heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the hot milk, then the smashed garlic clove and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring the garlic sauce to a boil and cook, whisking, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Set aside. It doesn’t get real thick but that is ok.
2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the lasagna noodles for 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl of cold water.
3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375. In a large skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over low heat. Add the onions and chopped garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. It looks like a lot but it reduces quite a bit.
4. Using a food processor puree the basil leaves and cream (if you use the puree just combine the two). Set aside 1/2 cup of basil cream. Stir the remaining basil cream and 1/2 cup parmesan into the mushroom mixture; season with salt and pepper.
5. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and spread 1 cup reserved garlic sauce on the bottom. Drain the lasagna noodles and lay 3 in the baking dish. Top with half of the mushroom mixture, a layer of noodles, then the remaining mushroom mixture and noodles. Combine the remaining garlic sauce and basil cream; spoon on top. Sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup parmesan.
6. Bake until golden, 40 to 45 minutes.
Let stand for 15 minutes.