Wednesday 23 July 2014

Arugula and Mushroom Lasagna

Veggie lasagna is such a great way to use just about any vegetable from the garden.  As I've been overrun recently with greens, and with arugula in particular, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it.

And if you and your family can't get through a whole pan of lasagna, it freezes very well no matter the ingredients.

This version includes a layer of ricotta mixed with some spinach and garlic, a layer of balsamic roasted mushrooms and a lot of fresh arugula all brought together with a creamy bechamel sauce.

For extra flavour, serve with some arugula-walnut-garlic scape pesto (or traditional basil pesto) and a drizzle of truffle oil (optional but highly recommended).

Detailed instructions follow.

Arugula and Mushroom Lasagna

9 lasagna noodles
2-3 cups fresh baby arugula
Mushroom Mixture (see below)
Ricotta / Spinach Layer (see below)
2-3 cups Bechamel Sauce

Set oven to 350 F.

Stir about 2 Tbsp of fresh thyme leaves into the heated bechamel sauce and let sit at least 5 minutes. Spread a small amount of bechamel in the bottom of a 9" square pan.

Place the first layer of noodles in the pan.

Add half the ricotta/spinach mixture.

 Add half the mushroom mixture.


Add half the arugula.  This will be a loose layer but will pack down as the next ingredients are added.

Add a small amount of bechamel.  Then repeat starting with noodles again.

Last layer of noodles on top and spread a thin layer of bechamel on top. Cover with tinfoil and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Then remove tinfoil and sprinkle on parmesan, sliced mozzarella or sliced aged cheddar (or any combination of these) just to lightly cover the pasta.  Continue baking another 20-30 minutes until cheese has browned.

 Mushroom Mixture:

12-14 oz mixed mushrooms (8 oz shiitake, 5 oz cremini)
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Mushrooms should be left in medium size pieces during cooking.  Toss all ingredients together and roast at 400 degrees F for about 20-30 minutes until well browned.  Stir halfway through.  Set aside to cool then chop into smaller pieces.

Ricotta / Spinach Layer:

1 cup spinach leaves, blanched
1 large garlic clove
2 cups ricotta

Once spinach is blanched, squeeze out as much liquid as possible then chop.  Mix with other ingredients and season to taste.

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