I shudder to think how long it has been since I posted on this blog. Between being very busy with guests ( a good thing!) and almost equally busy with my volunteer work for Corrales MainStreet; I have not had alot of time to myself. Now add to that mix an addition of another rescued Rhodesian Ridgeback, with Lupus, and you can see how I am spending my days.
It always seems like balloon fiesta, which occurs over ten days beginning with the first weekend in October, barely finishes and it’s November. And up until today you really wouldn’t know its November. Oh, we had snow on the mountains last week but here in the valley it’s been in the seventies. That stops tonight. Temperature is dropping like a stone. But no matter the temperature, when October moves into November I start thinking about dishes that warm the body and the soul. Sometimes it’s old favorites that appear on the table but usually in winter I find I have more time and more of an inclination to try something new. And that’s what I did this week. I recently saw a recipe for Mushroom and Burrata Lasagnette. It looked intriguing so I thought I’d try it. And by the way, I don’t know why they call this a lasagnette unless it is because it only feeds four. And by the way, the original recipe says it’s for two. Better be mighty hearty eaters!
And, as those of you who follow my pitifully irregular posts, know that I almost always adapt the recipe for available ingredients. Burrata is had to find in this neck of the woods so I substituted fresh mozzarella.
Mushroom and Fresh Mozzarella Lasagnette
- 3 tbl unsalted butter, divided
- 2 tbl olive oil, divided plus more for brushing pasta
- 1 1/2 lbs mixed mushrooms ( I used fresh crimini, button, shitake, and wood ear) cut into bite size pieces
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 large shallot, finely diced
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 6 fresh pasta sheets or 12 dried pasta sheets (I used the no bake Barilla – more on this later)
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella, torn into large pieces
- 1 1/2 oz fresh Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 6 tsp marjoram leaves
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Heat 1 tbs butter and 1 tbs olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add half the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and starting to crisp around 8 – 10 minutes. Place the cooked mushrooms in a medium bowl and repeat the mushroom cooking process with another 1 tbls of unsalted butter, 1 tbls of olive oil and the remaining mushrooms. Cook until browned and slightly crisp, another 8 to 10 minutes. Return first batch of mushrooms to the skillet. Add the shallot, wine and remaining 1 tbl of butter. Cook until skillet is dry, stirring occasionally. Return mushroom mixture to the bowl.
While mushrooms are cooking, combine the ricotta and cream in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Now comes the part I learned is necessary if you are using no boil pasta. Boil some salted water in a large pot. Working with one sheet of no boil pasta at a time, place it in the boiling water and cook until it is just softened. This is one recipe where the liquid is insufficient to bring the pasta to the right consistency while it bakes. Remove the sheet and let drain on paper towels. Repeat until all of the sheets are softened. Brush the top of each pasta sheet with olive oil as it is removed from the water.
To assemble –
Spread a thin layer of ricotta mixture over the bottom of a baking dish – I used a nine by nine pyrex baker. Place 2 noodles side by side. Using an offset spatula, spread a large spoonful of ricotta sauce over the noodles, scatter some mushrooms and torn mozzarella over the sauce. Top evenly with some parmesan cheese and 1 tsp of marjoram leaves. Repeat the layering, starting with the noodles and ending with the marjoram alternating the direction of the noodles, with each layer, 5 more times. Season with some fresh ground pepper.
Cover the lasagnette with foil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Uncover the dish and continue baking until the top is browned – about another 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
And here’s how my first attempt turned out. I should have left it in a bit longer for a more even browning but it still tasted great!
This portion is one fourth of the dish centered on a standard dinner plate. See why I say it can feed four people! Tonight we are having the remaining two portions. I am going to enhance the liquid portion of the dish by adding an additional few ladles of the ricotta and cream mixture topped with some additional parmesan cheese.
I can’t wait to serve this to my vegetarian daughter the next time she visits!