Monday, June 11, 2012

White Mushroom Lasagna with Red Pepper Tomato Sauce

Sense of Home Kitchen

White Mushroom Lasagna with Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
~Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted from Gourmet, February 1994~

Serves 6 to 8

For red pepper tomato sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
1 large Vidalia sweet onion, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
a pinch dried hot pepper flakes
4 sweet red bell peppers, sliced thin
2 cups whole tomatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste

For white mushroom mixture:
2 cups fresh sliced white mushrooms
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 cup half and half
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 pound lasagna noodles
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese ( about 8 ounces)
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 6 ounces)

To make red pepper tomato sauce:
In a heavy skillet measuring at least 12 inches across the top saute mushrooms in 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter along with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and cook onion with garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste until softened.  Stir in bell peppers and tomatoes and cook, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until peppers are very soft, about 20 minutes.  In a blender or food processor purée tomato pepper mixture in batches, transferring to a large saucepan as puréed, and stir in vinegar.  Add mushrooms to sauce and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375° F. and oil a 13- by 9-inch baking dish.

To make white mushroom mixture:
Chop white mushrooms fine.  In a heavy saucepan melt butter over moderately low heat.  Add flour and cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes.  Add milk and whisk while bringing to a boil.  Stir in mushrooms, nutmeg, white pepper and salt to taste and simmer over low heat, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Boil lasagna according to package directions, drain and rinse in cool water, set aside.  In a small bowl toss together mozzarella and Parmesan.  Spread enough red pepper tomato sauce in prepared dish to coat bottom.  Over sauce in dish layer in this order: lasagna noodles, 1/3 mushroom mixture, 1/3 cheese, and 1/3 remaining red pepper tomato sauce.  Repeat twice, reversing order of red pepper tomato sauce and cheese at end of last round of layering so that cheese is on top.

Bake lasagna in middle of oven 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden, and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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