I was serious a week a go when I proposed to produce one lasagne recipe a week for the duration of winter. So here it is, week two and lasagne two, I thought I would change things up a but this week and keep the dish vegetarian. But by using loads of mushrooms the lasagne still delivers a meaty richness, I don’t use a tomato sauce when I make a mushroom lasagne I prefer the creaminess of the mushrooms against but you could use one if you liked. I also use a mix of mushroom, starting with a bulk mixed pack, then portabellini, then wild mushrooms. Allowing the cheaper mushrooms to handle texture and volume while the more flavourful mushrooms give the dish its umph!
You can get the recipe for the bechamél here http://www.thesecretjozichef.co.za/?p=422
Spinach, Mushroom & Ricotta Lasagne
Makes a large tray
– 400gms bulk mixed mushrooms
– 100gms portabellini mushrooms
– 100gms wild mushrooms
– 2 medium red onions
– 3 cloves garlic
– 4 sprigs thyme, plucked and chopped
– 70gms butter + 70gms butter for spinach
– 100 mls brandy
– 4 tbsp olive oil
– 1 dry birds eye chili
– 2tsp finely chopped parsley
– 2 bags baby spinach
– 400gms fresh ricotta
– lasagne sheets
– 1,5 litre bechamél
– 100gms grated parmesan
– 150gms grated mozarella
Prepare your white sauce, now heat a large heavy based saucepan on a high flame. Add the butter for the mushrooms, olive oil, finely chopped garlic, crushed dry birds eye chili, thyme and cook the onions until softened. Now increase the flame to high and add the mushrooms, be careful to not over crowd your pan, you want the mushrooms to develop some colour first. If you put too many mushrooms in the pan, they will broil instead of browning so rather split it into two batches. Once the mushrooms have browned and the brandy and cook until it has reduced, the mushrooms should have some liquid in them but not be too wet. Add the fresh parsley and check seasoning. Once it has cooled slightly stir the ricotta in so that it is nicely combined, check seasoning again.
In a large pot add the washed spinach (if its too much put as much as you can and put the lid on, after a few minutes it will have collapsed allowing you to add more) and place on the heat, once the spinach has wilted remove it and place in a colander to allow it to drain. Press gently with a spoon to remove some, but not all of the water. Now return to the heat and add the butter and stir through, check the spinach for seasoning.
To assemble the lasagne start with a thin layer of bechamél on the bottom of the dish, then a layer of dry lasagne. Top that with half of the mushroom mixture and a 1/4 of the spinach just spread the leaves out loosely, top with bechamél and more dry lasagne and repeat with the rest of the mushrooms, another 1/4 of the spinach and this time add half the parmesan, before adding another layer of lasagne sheets. Top this with some bechamél, the balance of the spinach the rest of the parmesan and half of the mozarella before adding some more bechamél and another sheet of lasagne. Top this with more bechamél and the last of the mozarella, bake in a hot oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbling.