Monday, May 3, 2010

For Rebecca

She needed this recipe and I searched the webosphere and couldn't find it and I certainly wasn't going to type this all out and just send it to her.

(from Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza, & Calzone)

2 pounds fresh wild mushrooms (chanterlles, blewits, lepiotas, boletes, field mushrooms, etc.)
4 or 5 cloves garlic
A handfull of parsley leaves
2 or 3 sprigs fresh tyme
1/2 ounce dried boletus edulis
9 tablespoons of sweet butter
3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 cup beef or pigeon stock
2-egg pasta dough

Serves 6

BRUSH OR WIPE the mushrooms clean and thinly slice them. Peel and chop the garlic. Finely chop the parsley and thyme leaves. Soak the dried mushrooms in enough hot water to just cover them.
Make a béchamel sauce: Melt 3 tablespoons butter and whisk the flour into it. Cook gently for 4 to 5 minutes, then let the roux cool a bit. Mix the milk and half-and-half, heat it until almost boiling, then whisk it into the roux. Bring it to a boil and stir frequently to keep the mixture very smooth. Season the béchamel with salt, pepper, and a subtle scraping of nutmeg. Let it simmer very gently for approximately an hour. Pour off 1/4 cup or so of the juice from the soaking mushrooms and add it to the sauce. Stir in 1/2 cup of cream and taste for seasoning. Let the sauce cool while cooking the mushrooms and pasta.

COMBINE THE MUSHROOMS and sauté in four batches with a tablespoon each of butter and olive oil. Season each batch with salt and pepper and cook 4 to 5 minutes until tender and juicy, during the last minute add a little chopped garlic, parsley, and thyme. At the end add approximately 1/4 cup stock to each batch and cook it down to a syrupy sauce.
Roll the pasta very thin, cut it to the size of your dish, and cook it according the instructions below. These quantities will fill a dish 9 by 12 by 2 inches. Line the buttered dish with pasta and spread it with some of the béchamel sauce. Cover the sauce with approximately on-sixth of the mushrooms. Continue layering pasta, sauce, and mushrooms for 5 or 6 more layers. Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the top sheet of pasta and dot it with about 2 tablespoons of butter. Cover the dish with foil and bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 20 minutes until the top is browned.


We cannot overemphasize the importance of rolling the pasta for lasagne as thin as possible. Everyone has had lasagne made from those thick dry noodles with curled edges, usually layered with too much rubbery bland cheese, and a sauce made from canned tomatoes and handfuls of dried "Italian" herbs. In great contrast, lasagne can be made with very thin light noodles, layered with a a creamy pesto sauce, the whole wrapped like a package in pasta and baked so that it gently steams and puffs, with just the top becoming crispy and brown.

Roll the pasta very thin. Cut the sheet of dough in lengths to fit your dish - actually, a little smaller, because the pasta will expand when it cooks. Let the pasta dry for 15 to 20 minutes. Have ready a pot of salted boiling water and a bowl of cold water. Don't cook all of your pasta at one time but just enough for one or two layers. Cook the pasta, 2 or 3 sheets at a time, for 30 to 40 seconds. Lift them from the boiling water and immediately submerge them in cold water. Lift from the cold water and spread out flat on a towel to absorb the water. Careful handling is required once the pasta is dry, as it will stick together if it folds back on itself. At this point the pasta is ready to be layered in the dish with the sauce and whatever else the lasagne is to contain.

An interesting way to construct the lasagne is to make the first layer with sheets of dough covering the bottom of the dish and continuing over the sides. Layer the sauce and pasta until the dish is full, then fold those first sheets of dough up over the top, as if wrapping a package. This seals in the sauce and the flavors while the lasagne cooks.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

omg you typed that who thing just for me!?! (and other interested blogger receptors)

lucydeecy said...

you need a scanner yo!

Jonny Hamachi said...

I saw that movie.

Noah's Mommy said...

You rock!

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