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Posts Tagged ‘make ahead’


I love making lasagna when I’m going to have people over because I can hang out with people instead of standing over the stove the whole night. It’s also just great comfort food, and it makes me feel better whenever I’m a little down (almost as much as a delicious grilled cheese, especially when it’s made for me….). I’ve made roasted carrot and butternut squash lasagna and regular meat lasagna but mushroom lasagna is the most likely to make everyone happy. And it’s just so delicious and surprisingly easy to make. Who doesn’t love a good make-ahead pasta?!

Mushroom Lasagna

2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms

1 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup Marsala wine (you can substitute Sherry or any other wine, but Marsala is best)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

2 cups milk

1 cup chicken stock (substitute vegetable stock to make it vegetarian)

2 cups grated Italian fontina

1 cup grated parmesan

1/2 cup diced fresh mozzarella

1 cup basil leaves

1 package lasagna noodles

1 tablespoon truffle butter (optional)

Butter a lasagna pan and pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook the lasagna noodles in salted, boiling water about half the time specified on the package. They should be pliable but not cooked through. Remove to a sheet tray with some olive oil so they don’t stick.

Saute the mushrooms, onion, and garlic in a frying pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add the rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Once everything has softened, deglaze the pan with the Marsala. You can leave a little liquid and turn off the heat.

Meanwhile, combine the butter and flour in a sauce pan and allow to brown. It will start to look like sand. Add the milk and whisk together. Add the chicken stock and allow to thicken. You want it slightly thick but not so much that you can’t pour it. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Add half the parmesan and stir to combine and melt.

Start to layer the lasagna with a layer of noodles, then a layer of the mushrooms and then a layer of the bechamel sauce. These should be thin layers. Add a sprinkle of the fontina cheese and a couple basil leaves.

Continue with the layers until you use everything up and make sure to finish with a layer of pasta. I like to reserve a little bechamel to pour on top so that the top layer stays nice and soft. Sprinkle with the remaining fontina, parmesan, basil and the mozzarella. If you would like, you can add some pieces of truffle butter to the top to help it brown and enhance the mushroom flavor.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until it starts to brown on top and get bubbly. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes before eating so that they layers can cool a little and set up.

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This dish is essentially the same as marinated fresh anchovies, so you can use whatever is available. Your fishmonger will most likely fillet them for you, but I did mine myself and it wasn’t that difficult — and I used the scraps for fish stock. They are nice and tangy and make a delicious start to a very rich meal.

Marinated Sardines

4 fresh sardines, filleted

1 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

chili flakes

1 teaspoon parsley, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

8 crostini or toasts

Place the fillets in a baking dish and cover with vinegar. Let sit in the fridge for 4 hours. Drain the vinegar and add the olive oil, chili flakes, parsley, and garlic. Refrigerate for another 2 hours or more. Serve on toasts with a sprinkle of sea salt and a squirt of lemon over the top.

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I always forget how much I actually like quiche until I have some leftover pie dough and make one. It’s a perfect lunch with some salad on the side and so easy to make. Plus, you can use up any leftovers in the fridge. Just substitute or add to the ingredients below, and you can even mix together the night before and pour into the dough in the morning to make a really quick breakfast. I recommend putting it on a baking sheet though, because the last thing you want to be doing is cleaning the bottom of the oven if it overflows.

Next week in my week off I’m planning on making a bunch of pie dough and freezing it so I have it whenever I need it….stay tuned…

Leek and Mushroom Quiche

6 eggs, beaten

6 mushrooms, sliced

1 leek, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup white wine

1/2 cup parmesan, grated

1/4 cup cheddar, grated

1 pie crust, homemade or frozen, docked (poked several times with a fork so that the air bubbles can get out)

Saute the onion, leek, and garlic in some olive oil for a couple minutes until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Deglaze with the wine and let cool. Add the cheese and eggs and stir to combine. Pour into the pie crust and top with a little extra grated parmesan if you like.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until browned and bubbling on top and the crust is browned on the edges. Let cool a few minutes before slicing.

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