Prep 45 mins
Cook 1 hr
Chef Frank Minieri serves this delicious vegetarian lasagna at Il Cantinori in New York City.
- 1 quart milk
- 4 ounces butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 (28 ounce) canpeeled Italian tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 4 large radicchio, halved, cored and sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil, plus
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 lbs fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 1 lb fresh lasagna noodle
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1⁄2 lb mozzarella cheese, preferably fresh, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
- 1⁄4 cup milk (if preparing lasagne ahead)
- Make the white sauce: In a medium saucepan, bring the milk just to a boil over medium-high heat; keep warm.
- Melt the butter in another medium saucepan.
- Add the flour and stir over medium heat for 1 minute.
- Gradually whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth.
- Raise the heat to high and whisk the sauce until it boils and thickens, about 3 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking often, until no floury taste remains, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the salt, pour into a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface, and let cool.
- Make the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil in a non-reactive medium saucepan.
- Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and simmer, stirring often, until the sauce is thick, about 20 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.
- Transfer the tomato sauce to a bowl and let cool slightly.
- Stir in 1 cup of the white sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat the broiler.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.
- Spread the sliced radicchio on a large baking sheet and toss with 3 tblsps of the olive oil.
- Season with salt and pepper and broil for about 6 minutes, stirring often with tongs, until the radicchio is lightly browned and tender.
- Transfer to a large bowl.
- Turn the oven to 350°F.
- Heat 2 more tblsps of the olive oil in a large skillet until almost smoking.
- Add one-third of the shiitakes, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat without stirring, until golden-brown on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir the mushrooms and continue cooking until tender and browned all over, 3 to 4 minutes longer.
- Add the mushrooms to the radicchio.
- Repeat the process 2 more times with the remaining olive oil and mushrooms.
- Stir 2 ½ cups of the white sauce into the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.
- Add salt to the boiling water.
- Working in batches, cook the lasagne noodles for 1 minute.
- Carefully transfer pasta to a bowl of cold water to cool, then drain on paper towels.
- Lightly butter a 9 X 13 inch nonreactive baking dish.
- Arrange ¼ of the noodles in the dish.
- Spread ¼ of the radicchio mixture over the pasta and sprinkle with ¼ cup of the parmesan cheese.
- Repeat the layering process 3 more times and cover with the remaining lasagne noodles.
- Spread the remaining ½ cup white sauce over the pasta and arrange the sliced mozzarella on top.
- Note: The assembled lasagne can be covered and frozen for up to 1 month, or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Let return to room temperature before baking, then pour the milk around the sides of the lasagne.
- Cover the lasagne loosely with foil and bake for 1 hour.
- Remove the foil and continue baking for about 20 minutes longer, or until the lasagne is bubbling and the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Meanwhile, reheat the tomato-white sauce in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with lasagne.
I made this for a large group of Italian relatives and it was a huge success. I doubled (and then some) the recipe, using 2 pounds of fresh lasagna and a large pan (maybe 24 x 12?). It weighed a ton! Half served 9 people as a first course and I froze the rest in small portions. My philosophy: when you're going to all the work of preparing a big "pasticcio", as they say here, why not make more and enjoy it with ease in the future? Having no shiitakes, I used a generous pound of fresh, sliced button mushrooms and 1/2 ounce dried, soaked and drained porcini. I sauteed both mushrooms in olive oil just until they were going to release their juices. Other change: didn't like the idea of serving the tomato sauce on the side - they just don't do that here in Northern Italy. So I did each layer with a thin radicchio/mushroom spread, a big dollop of the tomato/white sauce spread over it, mozzarella strewn about and a big handful of parmesan cheese. Top layer, as the recipe directs, I ended with a couple of cups of white sauce painted on, lots of chopped mozzarella and parmesan again. As it was so large, I cooked it 1 1/2 hours, removed the foil to brown for 20 minutes, and let it rest 15 minutes. My only complaint? The prep time is really UNDER-exaggerated. To do it properly, each element must be ready and then assembling it is a snap (and creatively fun). I cook alot and this took me over 2 hours to prep. But don't let that deter you. It you've got a big group, and they're discerning (it is an "adult" recipe), this is authentic Italian cooking at it's best. Complimenti!