VEGETARIAN MUSHROOM LASAGNA
The Hippy Gourmet's Quick & Simple Cookbook
This is a thin, simple lasagna with a few flavors that blend together into one glorious whole. Use any kind of mushroom that you like. A blend of wild mushrooms would create an intense, earthy mushroom lasagna, but plain button mushrooms will create a deeply flavored dish as well.
• 1 cup (about an ounce) dried porcini mushrooms
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling pan and drizzling on top
• 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped fine
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
• 5 cups chopped mushrooms (plain button or mixed)
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 1 can (28 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 12 lasagna noodles
• 1 1/2 cups grated Fontina cheese
• 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
In a small bowl, pour about 1 1/2 cups boiling water over the porcini mushrooms. Let this sit for about 30 minutes, or until the porcinis are softened, then remove them from the water and chop. Reserve the soaking water.
Heat the oil over a medium-high flame in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook until lightly browned, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic. Cook for another minute or so. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook until they're lightly browned, about 5 minutes more. Add the reserved porcinis, the parsley, and the rosemary. Cook for about 1 minute more.
Add the wine. Cook until most of the wine has cooked off and the mixture is just a little moist. Add the reserved porcini water—but be careful not to include any dirt that has settled at the bottom of the bowl. Cook until mostly dry.
Drain most of the water from the tomatoes. Crush them lightly with your hands—nature's perfect tool! Add the tomatoes to the sauce and cook until it's nice and thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
While the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta according to package directions. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
When the pasta and sauce are both ready, lightly oil a casserole dish large enough to fit the lasagna noodles, about 9 x 13 inches. Add a couple of spoonfuls of sauce to the bottom of the pan and spread it around. Mix the cheeses together.
Lay 3 noodles over the sauce. Spread about a quarter of the remaining sauce atop the noodles, then sprinkle lightly with cheese. Repeat until all of the noodles and sauce are used up. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Cover with foil or a lid and bake for about half an hour. Uncover and bake for about 15 minutes more. Let the lasagna sit for about 10 minutes before eating.