Mushroom Spinach Lasagna

lasagnaWe had a friend coming for dinner who is a vegetarian so I wanted to make sure the carnivores didn’t go hungry so I made lasagna.  Not sure what I was thinking.  This recipe was a serious undertaking.  Delicious but lots of time.  Beware.

5 lbs. spinach  ( I used frozen that was already chopped which was a very wise move )

2 sticks unsalted butter

2 large shallots chopped

3 lbs wild mushrooms mixed and chopped

3/4 cup dry Vermouth

4 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese

1 lb fresh ricotta

1 lb lasagna sheets

Defrost the spinach.  In a large pan, melt 1 tbsp. butter and then add the shallots.  Saute until golden.  Make sure you get all the water out of the spinach before adding to this pan.  When thoroughly set aside until room temperature.  Then add in the 1 lb of ricotta until really mixed together.  Add in about 1 tsp kosher salt too for taste and a shot of pepper.

In a large pan melt 2 tbsp butter and add 1/3 of the mushrooms.  I then added a bit of olive oil to this too so they would not too dry.  Saute for about 10 minutes until softened.  Then add in 1/4 cup of Vermouth to loosen up all the bits and cook until all the liquid is evaporated.  Put this into a bowl.  Do again two times until all the mushrooms are cooked.  Keep the last 1/3 aside for topping.

In a medium heat heat 4 cups of milk.  In a separate saucepan melt 8 tbsp. butter.  One the butter starts to bubble add 1/2 cup flour and then whisk for one minute until thick.  Then slowly add in the warm milk and continue to whisk until it gets thick.  Then stir in 2 tbsp. salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg.  Take off the heat and add 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Set 1/2 cup aside.

Put together the lasagna.  Use a 9×13 inch baking pan.  Layer the bottom with lasagna sheets, trimming to fit in the pan.  Spread 1 1/2 cup of the spinach over the top then 1 1/2 cups of the mushroom over the top of that and then 3/4 cup of the sauce over the top of that.  Repeat until always to the top.  I did 3 layers.  Then on the last layer put just the lasagna noodles and then spread the sauce over the top and the rest of the grated cheese.

Bake for about one and a half hours at 350.  Right before serving combine 1/2 cup of the sauce and 1/2 cup milk and whisk until warm.  Then spoon the mushrooms over each serving and spoon a little bit of the sauce and serve.

This was a few hours of work…but good!