Sunday, July 10, 2011

I can feed manly men just fine thanks.

I caught a lot of flack from a certain someone for wanting to make this dish for the mini college reunion that occurred this weekend. First the dish was too fancy for a bunch of manly men and then there was drama about it being a white sauce not a red sauce. However, there was very little remaining after dinner on Friday and when I woke up Saturday morning there wasn't any left (evidently mushroom lasagna is a wonderful 3 am snack for manly men). So who wins this one? This girl obviously. 
We got the pancetta from Di Bruno Brothers so it was sliced nice and thick which was perfect for the recipe, thinly sliced would not have worked well. The amount was also upped to 8 ounces by Mr. Lawyer due to manliness concerns. I did the full 4 portobello caps but was a little light on the 1.5 pounds of baby bellas because that's a ton of mushrooms. Next time I would try to get a little closer to the 1.5 pounds but by no means was the dish lacking because I reduced the amount. I realize that the béchamel recipe is only for 3.5 cups and not the 4.5 cups required in the lasagna recipe but it worked out fine and it was not dry at all. But if I used the full amount of mushrooms an extra cup of sauce might have come in handy. 
Official Review: Amazing. I loved it and obviously the mostly boy crowd did as well. Definitely a keeper.
Portobello and Pancetta with Parmesan Lasagna
(from For the Love of Lasagna by Sorrento)
16 oz mozzarella, shredded
6 oz pancetta, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large portobello caps, ribs removed, 1/2 inch dice
1.5 pounds baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, 1/4 inch slices
3 medium shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine
1 bunch chives, chopped (reserve small amount for garnish)
4.5 cup bechamel sauce (recipe follows)
12 sheets no boil lasagna noodles
2 eggs
1.5 cups parmesan
1. Cook pancetta in large saute pan on medium in 2 tablespoons oil until rendered and crispy. Remove the pancetta and keep the oil in the pan.
2. Saute the portobello and baby bella mushrooms in the pancetta oil (in batches) until caramelized on medium-high heat. Set cooked mushrooms aside.
3. Saute shallots and garlic in the saute pan on medium heat with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil for 4 minutes. Add the cooked mushrooms and 1 cup white wine. Cooke on medium-high until the liquid has evaporated. Toss in chives and pancetta. Season with salt and pepper.
4. To assemble, spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1.5 cups béchamel sauce on the bottom of the pan and top with 4 lasagna noodles.
5. Mix remaining béchamel with 2 eggs. Layer 1/2 of the mushroom mixture, 1/3 of the béchamel egg sauce, 1/2 cup parmesan, and 1/4 of the mozzarella.
6. Top with 4 noodles, remaining mushroom mixture, 1/3 more of béchamel sauce, 1/2 cup parmesan, and 1/4 mozzarella.
7. Finish with a layer of 4 noodles, and the remaining 1/3 béchamel sauce, 1/2 cup parmesan and mozzarella.
8. Cover with parchment paper and then aluminum foil. Bake for 40 minutes, remove foil and parchment and bake for 10 more minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and garnish with reserved chives.
Bechamel Sauce
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 shallots (or 1 medium yellow onion), minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
3.5 cups whole milk
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1. Melt butter in a sauce pan on medium heat until foaming.
2. Add shallots and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes.
3. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes taking care not to brown.
4. Whisk in milk slowly and bring mixture to a boil. Stir in nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.

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