Friday, August 5, 2011

Porcini Lasagne

The minute I tasted this lasagne in Venice, I knew I just had to try and duplicate the recipe, but I didn't think it would take me so long, seeing as it was one of the best pastas I have ever eaten. It was obvious that it had porcini mushrooms, bechamel sauce and most likely grana padana cheese. That was a good enough start for me to give it a try and a baby shower with food centric friends was the perfect occasion to get me hopping.
fresh or dried (one pkg) lasagne sheets
bechamel sauce
2 C freshly grated grana or parmigiano
1 1/2C coarsely grated semi soft truffle cheese
2 pkg frozen porcini mushrooms (about 1 lb)
3T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cube sweet butter
3 porcini bouillon cubes
water for boiling the pasta

Place 8 cups water into a stock pot over high heat and add the bouillon cubes. This adds additional porcini flavor to the pasta.
Filter the water from the bag of frozen porcini through a cheese cloth into the pot for even more flavor. Slice porcini as thin as this as possible.

Use a standard bechamel sauce (my recipe can be seen with the Lasagne Verdi Bolognese recipe), then add 8-12 passes of nutmeg over a micro plane grater.

Place 3 pasta sheets into boiling bouillon, cook until it's flexible, or fully cooked. Drain on a cotton dish towel, but don't overlap the pasta.
After heating the olive oil and butter, add the mushrooms, that have been thinly sliced,  and saute them. Your bechamel should be covered if it is already finished.

Layer some bechamel to cover the baking dish and add pasta to cover, then spread more bechamel over the pasta. Sprinkle finely grated grana on top. 

Add another thin layer of cheese, using the coarsely grated truffle cheese which will melt and become a way to hold the lasagne together.

Add a thin layer of the sauteed mushrooms to the cheese, then start over with layering the pasta, bechamel, cheeses, and mushrooms until the pan is full.

The last layer is only bechamel and parmigiano. Bake at 360 degrees for an hour covered in foil,  remove the foil, bake for 10 minutes or until the top layer is browned.

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