I can cook!

I decided I needed to make lasagna last week.  This was a 3 day process, but was amazing!  dscn0367and from the side:

dscn0368I'm not normally a food blogger, but this was so awesome, I'll share the recipe.  It's from the Bon Appetit cookbook, if you are curious. This is still feeding Groom and me, which is great, since I still haven't done a proper grocery shop since we got back from vacation.

Seriously, read through all of the directions first.  This took me two days because I made the sauce, filling, and the mushrooms in one day, then realized I needed Fontina cheese, and had to go get more the next day.  Also, I ignore directions that seem like they skimp on the cheese.  This WI girl just tossed in handfuls of Parmesan where it seemed like it was needed.

Filling 2 15-oz containers ricotta cheese 1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, cooked according to package, drained, and squeezed dry ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 2 eggs

Mushrooms 1 Tbs olive oil 2 oz pancetta (I was out of pancetta, so I used thick bacon) 2 tsp minced fresh rosemary 12 oz mushrooms sliced (I used baby portabellas) (I also added in asparagus here)

Sauce 1 1-oz package dried porcini mushrooms 1 Cup hot water

1 Tbs olive oil 2 oz pancetta (again with the thick bacon) 1 medium onion chopped 2 tsp minced fresh rosemary 1/8 tsp dried crushed red pepper 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes w/ added puree

Assembly and Baking 12 (ish) lasagna noodles Sauce 4 Cups coarsely grated Fontina cheese (I did smoked grated) ¾ C freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1 tomato, seeded, chopped 2 tsp minced fresh rosemary

For filling: combine first 3 ingredients in large bowl.  Season w/ salt and pepper.  Add eggs and mix well. This can be made a day ahead - just cover and chill

For Mushrooms: heat oil in heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add pancetta and rosemary, saute until fat renders, about 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms (and asparagus if you like), sprinkle w/ salt and pepper, and cook until juices evaporate, stirring frequently.

For Sauce: rinse dried mushrooms under cold water if sandy.  Place in small bowl.  Pour 1 cup hot water over and let soak until soft, about 30 minutes.  Drain mushrooms, reserve soaking liquid.  Cut stems from mushrooms (I didn't wait 30 minutes, and I forgot about the stems.  Whatevs.)  Then, heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add pancetta and saute 2 minutes.  Add onion and rosemary; saute until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.  Add red pepper and saute 20 seconds.  Add canned tomatoes and porcini.  Carefully pour in reserved mushroom water.  Simmer until sauce is thick, about 35 minutes. Toss in salt and pepper.  This can be made a day ahead too; refridgerate covered.

Now you get to put it together.  You aren't going to eat this tonight, because you need to let it sit for 2 hours - unless you are smarter than I was and you make this on a Saturday.  Then you might be alright.

Noodle time: Cook the noodles until tender, but still al dente. Drain.  Rinse under cold water to cool.  I actually dunked each one into an ice bath, but that's just how I roll.  Arrange the chilled noodles in a single layer on a sheet of foil.

Building the lasagna:

  • Oil a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass dish (totally didn't do that).
  • Spread 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom.
  • Cover with a layer of noodles.
  • Spread 1/2 of the ricotta filling over the noodles.
  • 1 cup of sauce
  • 1 cup Fontina and 1/4 cup Parmesan (or just pile on the Parmesan, details details)
  • layer noodles
  • remaining ricotta filling
  • 1 cup of sauce
  • 1 cup Fontina and 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • layer 1/2 of the mushroom mix (the rest goes on the very top)
  • layer of noodles
  • rest of the sauce
  • rest of the Fontina and more Parmesan

Cover with foil.  (This can be made the day before. Refrigerate lasagna and the other half of the mushroom stuff separately.  Before continuing, let lasagna and mushrooms stand at room temperature for 2 hours).

Preheat oven to 350*F.  Bake covered lasagna 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake until heated and bubbling, about 20 more minutes.  Sprinkle leftover mushrooms, diced tomato, and 2 tsp rosemary over the top.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  Cut into squares - eat for the next week and a half.

Oh, and it makes even better leftovers, and you can bring it to work.  There. I've saved you money because you brought your lunch, and you didn't have to buy groceries for a week.