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Lasagna and pizza are probably the most famous Italian imports, but are usually not translated authentically.Just as there is no pepperoni on pizza in Italy, there is no ricotta cheese in lasagna either. The entire city of Bologna would riot if you brought them a lasagna with ricotta in it.
They take their pastas extremely seriously and a besciamella sauce is the only sauce that is in a lasagna. With this recipe, instead of making the famous Lasagna Bolognese, that is filled with a meat ragù sauce, I made a mushroom besciamella that is every bit as rich and satisfying, but without the meat.
The mushrooms are hearty, and the rich sauce with the fresh pasta is comforting. I love to serve these to my guests in individual-sized lasagna pans, Mushroom Lasagnette means “small lasagna”, but the recipe is just as tasty served in a traditional pan.
Mushroom Lasagna Recipe
- 1 package of fresh pasta sheets
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms thinly sliced
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
- 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 large shallot finely chopped
- 4 1/2 cups milk simmering (plus more if needed to thin out the sauce)
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Mushroom Besciamella Sauce
- In a large non-stick skillet melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the shallots and sauté until soft.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté until soft.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the flour and incorporate with the mushrooms, cook for 2 minutes.
- Gradually mix in the simmering milk and stir to combine.
- Stir continuously, when the sauce is creamy and smooth, turn off the heat and add the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- Taste for salt and pepper, cover and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Layer each 6” x 6” individual lasagna pan, or a 9” x 12” baking pan with a ladle of mushroom besciamella sauce and add a first layer of pasta.
- Spread another ladle of the mushroom besciamella sauce on top of the pasta.
- Add 2 tablespoons of mozzarella on top of the sauce and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano.
- Repeat the steps twice.
- Top with the remaining grated parmesan and besciamella sauce.
- Bake at 350° uncovered for 35 minutes or until bubbling.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes covered with foil.
- Sprinkle the top with the chopped parsley and serve warm.
Other pasta fresca recipes: