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LASAGNA WITH MUSHROOMS

February 18, 2012 7:26 pm 0 comments

Lasagna with mushrooms is a remarkable festival or party dish, looks striking and scrumptious to eat. Combined with a mix of simple mushrooms, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and onions; flavored with garlic and basil makes it classic and flavorful.

Lasagna is a popular Italian dish made with a flat type of pasta and is possibly one of the oldest shapes. As with most other types of pasta, the word is generally used in its plural form lasagne meaning more than one piece of lasagna ribbon. Traditionally, the dough was prepared in Southern Italy with semolina and water and in the northern regions, where semolina was not available, with flour and eggs. Nowadays in Italy, lasagna is made of semolina (from durum wheat) and eggs. There is also a green version which is colored with spinach. It is said that, there are three theories on the origin of lasagna, two of which denote an ancient Greek dish. The main theory is that lasagna comes from Greek (laganon) which is a flat sheet of pasta dough cut into strips. The word lagana is still used in Greek, means a flat thin type of unleavened bread. The Italians used the word to refer to the dish in which lasagne is made. Later the name of the food took on the name of the serving dish.

This cheesy lasagna is a mix of mushrooms with minced meat and spices providing a lovely depth of flavor and richness making it a hearty non-vegetarian variation. People who love mushrooms and its down-to-earth flavors would surely go in for this excellent dish which is superbly rich, savory, earthy delight that adds depth and complexity to the dish. It’s a perfect cold-weather dish to savor warm, rich flavors, and if you’re into wine, then goes well with a dry, crisp white that cuts the richness of the cheese. Lasagna with mushroom is an ideal dish to be served while hosting a dinner party with nice crunchy fresh green salad to serve on the side.

You can use any type of mushrooms for this lasagna. Some of the very popular mushrooms are cremini, shiitake, oyster or button mushrooms and cheeses like gruyere, fontina, parmesan and smoked mozzarella makes a wonderful and enchanting mix of ingredients. Do boil the lasagna noodles before you actually bake them because the results would be better and the noodles would be flexible to set them in nice layers.

To prepare this classic Lasagna with mushrooms, firstly cut the mushrooms in slices and steam them with some water until they are done. Chop onion finely. Heat a tablespoon of oil in large frying pan and when it gets hot add in the chopped onions and roast them and then add the minced meat. Add the mushroom water (only the drained water and not the mushrooms) and canned tomatoes. Cook the sauce for about 40 minutes or until the minced meat is done. Season the dish with salt to taste, pepper, basil and garlic.

For the mushroom sauce, stir in the mushrooms and the cottage cheese with milk, season with salt and pepper and keep aside. Now prepare the lasagna. In a greased baking dish, arrange alternatively layers of mushroom sauce and tomato sauce between the lasagna noodles. Begin with the mushroom sauce. On top of the tomato sauce, put in the sliced mozzarella. Drizzle grated cheese on top and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Serve with French bread (baguette) and fresh green salad.

Lasagna with mushrooms is a thin, simple and easy to cook dish with few flavors that combine gloriously together. A blend of wild mushrooms would create intense and earthy mushroom lasagna but plain button mushrooms will also create a deeply flavored dish. There are two important things to make lasagna splendid, one, a thick rich and super meaty sauce and two, a ricotta filling where some of the finest cheeses are welcomed.

Tip: If you use too much of sauce, the plate would be of pasta with flowing sauce and if you don’t use enough sauce then you end up with dry lasagna, hence use just the right measures for a perfect lasagna. Drizzle the top layer of noodles covered with Parmigiano-Reggiano, so as it bakes, the cheese melts and the pasta gets a little crisp.

Do try and enjoy this crowd-pleasing dish which is great to serve at home or bring to a potluck!

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