Friday, July 15, 2011

Portabella Florentine Lasagna

I had a huge craving for pasta today and decided to make a lasagna Florentine after rummaging through my fridge and found spinach and portabella mushrooms. The idea was simple: create a luxuriously rich and creamy Béchamel Sauce, make a savory mushroom and spinach filling and layer these divine assets between lasagna noodles and mozza cheese.  After baking for half an hour to have all the cheese and delious-ness melt together, I tossed up a quick salad so that I didn't feel too guilty with my indulgence.

I don't have a set recipe for my Béchamel Sauce but you can try following Chef Batali's recipe.

Portabella and Spinach Filling

1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large portabella mushroom caps, cut into bit-sized slices
3 tsp salt
3-4 cups fresh baby spinach, washed, spun dried and chopped
2 tsp nutmeg
Dried or fresh basil to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a skillet and add the shallots. Cook until transparent, then add in the garlic until aromatic. Turn heat to medium-high and add in the mushrooms and salt, stirring until mushrooms become tender. Lower heat to medium-low and add in baby spinach and stir until spinach is completely wilted but not soggy. Stir in nutmeg and basil. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Let cool and remove any excess water/juices. Stir in 1/4 cup of Béchamel sauce.

To layer the lasagna, just go sauce, noodles, filling, cheeses (mozzarella and Parmesan), noodles, filling, cheeses, etc., until you end up with noodles. Top with sauce and cheese. Bake in a 400 F oven for half and hour until cheese have melted and are golden brown. Let sit for 20 minutes before serving.

**If you want real protein, chicken is the way to go. Just slice up some chicken and cook before adding in the mushrooms and spinach. If you have left over chicken, shred that up and add to the cooked mushroom/spinach filling. Easy Peasy.


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