Mushroom Lasagna

This vegetarian option is hearty, luxurious and filling

By FVCC Chef Howard Karp

This is a wonderful dish I often serve when a vegetarian option is requested at the FVCC Chef’s Table. It’s hearty, luxurious and filling. A secret to intensifying the flavor is to use a mushroom vinaigrette and garlic chips; however, at home, a simple drizzle of balsamic vinegar is a great alternative.

MUSHROOM STOCK

  • 1 pound white mushrooms, sliced thin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 cups water

In a medium pot, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for one hour. Pass through a fine-strainer.

BECHAMEL SAUCE

  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups mushroom stock
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper

In a sauce pan, melt butter and add flour. Cook a few minutes, then add milk. Whisk and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pass through a strainer into stainless-steel bowl. Add mushroom stock, and cover with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming.

GARLIC CHIPS (makes about 1/2 cup)

  • 10 large cloves, sliced lengthwise paper-thin (use a mandolin slicer)
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil

Fill pan halfway with cold water. Add garlic slices, and bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately remove from heat and drain garlic. Lay on baking sheet and pat dry. In a pan, heat oil to 325 degrees. Add garlic, and stir until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon onto paper towels, and season with salt.

FILLING

  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 1/2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 leeks (white only), cleaned and sliced thin
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups Swiss chard, sliced
  • 3 lbs. white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup mascarpone
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3 tbsp. Spanish sherry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Butter for the pan
  • 18 oz. of fresh lasagna dough sheets (approx. 8 sheets)
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, heat oil. Add thyme sprigs, onion and garlic. Slowly smother, then add the leeks and again smother for an additional 7 minutes. Add chard, and cook until wilted (about two minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Remove thyme sprigs, and transfer mixture into a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, then transfer to a bowl.

In another skillet, heat oil until very hot. Add mushrooms, allowing them to caramelize to golden brown. Transfer to food processor and pulse (the mushrooms should still have texture). Transfer to bowl with onions. Add Béchamel sauce, mascarpone and ricotta, and mix. Add both vinegars, and thoroughly combine.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add salt. Cook fresh lasagna sheets in the water for only a couple of minutes. Drain, and shock in a bowl of ice water. Carefully remove noodles from ice water, and lay in a single layer onto plastic wrap.

Butter a 9”x13” baking pan, and lay the noodles to cover the bottom. Top noodles with 1/4 of the filling, and spread evenly. Sprinkle parmesan over the mixture. Repeat procedure three times (the mixture should be on top when finished with grated parmesan). Drizzle olive oil onto mixture, and bake until the top is golden brown and hot in the center (35 to 45 minutes). Let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. If using, sprinkle top with garlic chips.

This recipe was originally published in 2014.

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