Here’s your list of ingredients:
1 c. Dried porcini mushrooms (soak in 2 c. hot water)
3 T. olive oil and 1T. butter
Lots of shitake mushrooms, sliced
Lots of Baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c. White wine
Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, pinch of red pepper flakes
Spinach (If using frozen, thaw and drain. If using fresh, boil or sauté and drain.)
5 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
4 T. Butter
1/3 c. Flour
2 ½ c. Milk
Reserved porcini mushroom soaking liquid
8 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated
Lasagna noodles (I used the no-boil variety.)
Our first order of business will be to reconstitute the dried porcini mushrooms because they need a little time to soften. (I use dried porcini that are already chopped in bits and pieces.) Place them in a medium bowl, and cover them with two cups of hot water. Swish them around with a spoon to be sure they all get wet so they can begin to soften. Just set them aside. We’ll come back to them in a few minutes.
Before we start working with the rest of our ingredients, just get your oven to preheating at 375 and grease a 13” x 9” baking pan with some olive oil.
If using frozen spinach, just be sure it is thawed and drained. I happened to have some fresh in my fridge, so I boiled it and drained it well.
Have your crumbled goat cheese at the ready.
My original plan was to combine ricotta cheese with the spinach and add a beaten egg for my 2nd filling. But alas, I forgot to buy the ricotta. But that’s what I love about this recipe, or really any lasagna recipe. It’s so forgiving. Use different mushrooms, use different cheeses….go ahead, experiment!
The trick to this sauce is to never leave it alone. It thickens quickly, so make sure you stir it the whole time. In a large saucepot, melt the butter. When the butter has melted, sprinkle the flour over the top of it and use a spoon or whisk to combine it into a paste. Cook, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes to “cook” the flour.
Layer #1: Pour about 1 cup of the sauce into the greased 13 x 9 pan and swirl to coat the bottom. Lay down a layer of lasagna noodles, being sure to overlap the edges a bit. Next comes about 1/3 of your mushrooms. Then sprinkle half of the spinach and 1/3 of the goat cheese over the mushrooms.
Layer #3: Last layer! Pour sauce over the whole thing again. Lay down the last of your mushrooms and sprinkle with the last of your goat cheese. Pour any remaining sauce over the whole thing, and top it off with a good sprinkle of parmesan.
Time to take a bite. Oh, it is so good! I really think adding the porcini mushroom soaking water to the béchamel sauce really adds a depth of flavor to the whole casserole. We thought this was seriously delicious. I hope you do too!
Serve with a nice salad and a slice or two of crusty bread. And what to drink with it? Well, because it's so cheesy, a nice Italian pinot grigio would be nice. But because it's so earthy with all the mushrooms, I think a nice red pairs well too. Take your pick! Buon appetito!