Green lasagne noodles are layered with ham, mushrooms, tomatoes, and béchamel sauce. To make this meatless, just eliminate the ham.
Makes8 to 10 servings
Total Timeunder 2 hours
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursemain course
Taste and Texturecrunchy, herby, rich, savory
Type of Dishbaked pasta
- 3 cups Béchamel Sauce
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 cups hot water
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 12 ounces white mushrooms, chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried marjoram or thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped fresh tomatoes or canned imported Italian tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 8 ounces sliced boiled ham, chopped
- 1¼ cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1¼ pounds green lasagne
Prepare the béchamel sauce. Put the dried mush-rooms in the water and let soak 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the bowl and reserve the liquid. Rinse the mushrooms under cold running water to remove any grit, paying special attention to the ends of the stems where soil collects. Chop the mushrooms coarsely. Strain the mushroom liquid through a paper coffee filter into a bowl.
In a large skillet, melt two tablespoons of the butter with the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook one minute. Add the fresh and dried mushrooms, marjoram, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and reserved mushroom liquid and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes more.
Have ready a large bowl of cold water. Lay out some lint-free kitchen towels on a work surface.
Bring at least 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt. Add the lasagne a few pieces at a time. Cook the lasagne until tender but slightly underdone. Scoop the pasta out of the water. Place the cooked pasta in the cold water. When cool enough to handle, lay the pasta sheets out flat on the towels, which can be stacked one on top of the other. Continue cooking and cooling the remaining lasagne in the same way.
Butter a 13 × 9 × 2–inch pan. Set aside the 2 best-looking pasta strips for the top layer. Set aside ½ cup of the béchamel and ¼ cup of the cheese. Make a layer of pasta, overlapping the pieces. Spread with a thin layer of the béchamel, mushroom sauce, ham, and cheese. Repeat the layering, ending with the pasta. Spread with reserved béchamel. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Dot with the remaining butter.
Place a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the lasagne 45 minutes. If the lasagne is browning too much, cover it loosely with foil. Uncover and bake 15 minutes more or until the top is browned and the sauce is bubbling around the edges. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Cut into squares to serve.
2004 Michele Scicolone