Thursday, September 29, 2011

White Lasagna with Spinach, Sausage, and Mushrooms


Lasagna is that fabulous type of dish that can provide multiple meals by virtue of storing well and being easy to make in large quantities. It's the kind of food that anyone can make at gourmet quality as well. Conveniently, it allows you to put all the elements of a balanced meal (vegetables, meat, carbs) into one preparation. And one recent weekend, when I was alone and in the mood for some simple yet hearty sustenance, I elected to make a less-conventional white lasagna with a bechamel-based sauce, and to incorporate hot Italian sausage, fresh spinach, and mushrooms. It came out really well, and it fed me for an entire weekend!


Ingredients
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- a few handfuls of good parmesan cheese
- 1 large bag fresh spinach
- 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms
- 1.5 lbs. Hot Italian Sausage (ground or removed from casings)
- 1 lb. ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 2 tbsp dried Italian herbs
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp crushed red chili flakes
- 3-4 leaves of fresh basil, sliced very thin
- 4-6 sheets of lasagna, boiled just under al dente
- 1 lb. mozzarella cheese, shredded

Melt the butter over medium heat, and then whisk in the flour to create a roux. Let the roux cook for about 5 minutes to brown and remove raw flour taste, and then add the milk, streaming it in while whisking vigorously. Let the mixture come back to a boil. Let boil until a thick sauce is made. Reduce heat and add 2 or 3 handful of Parmesan, whisking vigorously as the cheese goes in. Cover and leave on low heat.

Bechamel Sauce
Add some olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. When it is hot, add the garlic and red chili flakes. After 1 min, when everything is fragrant, add the sausage. Cook the sausage until fully browned, then add mushrooms and toss to combine. Finally, add the spinach and mix in. Season to taste with salt. Remove from heat when spinach is just wilted. Set aside.

Sauteing the meat mixture


In a mixing bowl, combine, the ricotta, egg, salt and pepper to taste, 2-4 handfuls of fresh Parmesan, and the lemon zest. Set aside. 

In salted water, cook the lasagna sheets according to package directions, but not fully. They will finish in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 400 deg. To arrange the lasagna, start by buttering the bottom of your casserole. First, put a layer of pasta sheets down. After that, the order is: ricotta mix, sausage mix, white sauce, mozzarella cheese. Repeat until the casserole is full. Bake until cheese is golden and bubbly, about 10-15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.Enjoy

The final meat layer in the casserole

Cover with cheese

Hot and bubbly out of the oven!

2 comments:

  1. I love how this has both b├ęchamel sauce and ricotta! most white lasagna recipes only use one or the other. but to me thats so sad, because i love both btw: u should post more recipes. they're all good

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  2. Hi AnickH! Thanks so much for the comments! We are posting new recipes, but our site has moved! Check out our newer content at http://www.worldtasters.net/. We really appreciate you taking the time to read the recipes and hope that you like the newer site.

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