Lasagna is always good! For me it's the perfect soul food, whether it's with vegetables or meat. This white lasagna with mushrooms and lots of cheese is vegetarian and we like to serve it at special parties or family gatherings.
The original lasagna
The ancient Romans already knew lasagna, or at least a preliminary form of it. Laganum was the name of the base of the dish, a flat pasta. The famous Roman gastronome Apicius reports in his writings that these sheets of wheat flour were stuffed with meat and usually prepared directly over the fire. This quick dish was still very popular in the Middle Ages. Several poets report its delicious taste.
Many cooks ...
During the Renaissance, the popular stuffed meatball was further developed. During this period, egg pasta also became common in northern Italy. Francesco Zambrini also explained the proper layering of pasta and filling in his "14th Century Cookbook" in 1863. In Naples, the meat filling was then enriched with tomato sauce. The combination of all these regional influences gave rise - almost simultaneously with the unification of Italy - to the "national" version of lasagna, which is now one of the best-known examples of Italian cuisine in the world.
In Italy, of course, in addition to the export hit, there are numerous regional variations of the dish. In the north, for example, lasagna is often white, meaning without tomato sauce, and vegetarian with vegetables. The Venetian version with radicchio trevisano or with artichokes or fennel, for example, is excellent. In Umbria and Marche, the beef ragu is enriched with chicken giblets and pork, while in Sicily, instead of meat, roasted eggplant is often used as a filling. Those who love lasagna will find plenty of inspiration in regional cuisines.
White lasagna with mushrooms
- 1 package lasagne sheets
- 800 g mushrooms, fresh mixed (herb mushrooms, chanterelles, porcini mushrooms)
- olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1-2 handfuls parsley, chopped
For the béchamel sauce
- 400 ml milk
- 400 ml water
- 80 g butter
- 80 g flour
- 200 g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 250 g soft cheese, such as scamorza, asiago - grated
- black pepper, freshly ground
- Clean the mushrooms dry or with damp kitchen paper and cut them into pieces. Fry them well in a pan with a little oil and the peeled garlic clove. Do not salt the mushrooms, otherwise they may release water and become rubbery. Add the chopped parsley to the mushrooms. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Melt the butter for the bechamel sauce. Grate a little nutmeg. Add the flour and sweat it briefly while stirring. The flour must not turn brown. Mix the milk and water and add slowly, stirring vigorously. Bring the bechamel sauce to a boil once and then cook at a low temperature until it thickens well. Season with salt and nutmeg if necessary. The total cooking time for the bechamel sauce is about 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C with top and bottom heat. Put the water in a larger pot, salt it. Once it boils, cook 4-6 lasagna sheets each briefly (1-2 minutes). Take out and put on the next sheets.
- In the meantime, prepare a layer of lasagna: Cover the bottom of the baking dish with the briefly cooked pasta sheets. On top, add a layer of mushrooms, then the bechamel sauce and the grated cheese. Season well with pepper. Repeat the layers until all the ingredients are used up. The top layer: béchamel sauce sprinkled with plenty of cheese.
- Bake in hot oven for about 40 minutes. If the lasagna darkens too quickly, cover with aluminum foil. The lasagna is ready when it has turned a nice golden color.