Friday, July 18, 2008

Emeril's Spinach, Mushroom, and Four Cheese Lasagna

Spinach, Mushroom, and Four Cheese Lasagna
1 (20-ounce) package fresh spinach, tough stems removed and washed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 pound portobello mushrooms, stems removed and sliced (about 3 large)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
15 ounces fresh ricotta
1 1/2 cups grated Fontina or provolone
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
1 pound lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Drain in a fine mesh strainer, pressing with a large spoon to release as much water as possible. Finely chop and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and black pepper, and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and have given off their liquid, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

To make the bechamel sauce, in a large saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, to make a light roux, about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly add the milk and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the nutmeg, and 1 cup of the Parmesan and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a bowl, combine the ricotta, fontina, and mozzarella cheeses. Fold in 1/4 cup of the bechamel sauce.

Across the bottom of a deep-dish lasagna pan (13 by 9-inches), spoon enough bechamel sauce to cover (about 1/2 cup). Then add 1/4 of the mushrooms and sprinkle 1/4 of the spinach across. Arrange a layer of cooked noodles side-by-side across the sauce. Spread another layer of bechamel over the noodles and top with more spinach, mushrooms, and cheese. Repeat layering with sauce, noodles, spinach, and cheese 2 more times, ending with noodles on top. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups of Parmesan over the top, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake until the noodles are tender and the lasagna is hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until golden brown on top, about 10 minutes.
Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve hot.
When I went shopping for this recipe I wasn't feelin' the full size portobello vibe, yeah, I love them as a sandwich and in some recipes, but I was thinking that wasn't the texture I wanted for this lasagna so I bought a pack of 'baby bellas' and planned to just use that. When I started sauteeing them my pan looked so bare, I decided to toss in a few cups of sliced white mushrooms I had in the fridge ...
BAM! (sorry, had to say it!) much better mushroom coverage :)

I had to add more than 1/4 cup of the bechamel to the cheese mixture, probably 1/2 cup or so, I also added a little garlic salt and italian seasoning to the cheese mixture, just to be sure it wouldn't be too bland. Other minor changes I made were to omit the pepper and shallots -- personal preference, to use frozen chopped spinach, prepared, instead of the fresh, along with many extra mushrooms and extra cheese.

After my first couple of layers I decided it would be much easier to evenly distribute the spinach if it was mixed with the bechamel, and since they were on top of each other in the lasagna pan anyway, why not? Sorry Emeril, I hate to change up your directions, but this makes it much easier and the end result is the same.

To the top 1 1/2 cups of parmesan cheese I also added a handful of fontina and a handful of mozzarella, can't go wrong with extra cheese in my book!

Sorry no plated pics, I tried to get one but it didn't turn out and the lasagna was gone before I had a chance to take another :)

Althought I've watched Emeril quite a few times this is the first recipe of his I've tried, and it was amazing, such an indulgence but totally worth it. Would I make this again? You bet! This lasagna was so creamy and delicious. I am so happy that I tried this recipe :) YUM!

1 comment:

MacDuff said...

I had this a couple of years ago, and I can still remember how rich it was. The only thing I didn't like was that I wasn't craving it the next day - I can usually eat lasagne for weeks on end. How'd the leftovers fair for you?

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