Mushroom Lasagna with Pancetta and Sage

February 21, 2013 · 4 comments

in italian,pasta

 

I almost didn’t post this lasagna because I took precisely zero good pictures of it, but then I figured it might be way too long before you have this lasagna in your life. I know I’m already sad that I didn’t make like 3 batches of it to freeze because at this point in my pregnancy, I’m having a hard time standing for really long periods of time in the kitchen, so I’m not sure the next time we’ll be eating this.

On a related note, let’s just get this out of the way: there are a lot of steps to making this lasagna. None of them are difficult, but it is a bit time-consuming, and there is a lot of “cook this and then set it aside” and “use a million bowls” kind of stuff. I’m sure that since it’s a Cook’s Illustrated recipe, you would expect nothing less than a novella for the instructions, and they deliver.  Still, like I said, nothing is particularly difficult, and the end result is totally and completely worth it.

I’ve mentioned my love for mushrooms many, many times and this lasagna absolutely makes them shine. Quadruple-y . First, porcini mushrooms are soaked and you use both the reconstituted mushrooms and the soaking liquid. Then, portobello mushrooms are roasted until they’re shriveled and their flavor is concentrated. And then chopped button mushrooms are used in the filling. The recipe uses pancetta, and while I love pancetta and totally advocate for its use here (particularly in combination with the mushrooms), I think this lasagna would also be fantastic omitting it completely to please vegetarian eaters.

This lasagna is incredibly rich. The mushrooms impart a deep, earthy flavor, the sauce is creamy, and of course there’s cheese. What’s different about this lasagna is that it includes essentially a basil gremolata on the top—a mixture of fresh basil, lemon zest, and garlic—which brightens the dish and adds a little freshness.

Make this lasagna, and I promise you won’t regret it. And feel free to bring me some if you’re nearby, too.

 

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