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    Monica Byrne's Mushroom Lasagna

    Source of Recipe

    From "See You on Sunday" by Sam Sifton

    Recipe Introduction

    "I first had this lasagna at a wedding held in a loft high up above the West Side docks of Manhattan. Jay-Z and Alicia Keys were singing over the sound system as everyone danced in candlelight, with flowers everywhere and the crowd running middle-aged and well-seasoned. We were aware, the lot of us, that we were experiencing the kind of love and commitment you can't possibly grasp until you've experienced it for a while. We bore witness to a marriage built on the firmest of foundations. The dinner was served family style, in keeping with the aesthetics of both the couple and the caterers who served them that day, Monica Byrne and Leisah Swenson. Monica's mushroom lasagna was near the beating heart of that meal—luscious and rich and sweet and salty and thrumming with that strange and magical fifth taste the aesthetes call umami. We ate it in happiness and amazement, filled with joy, and when eventually it was time to go home, I buttonholed Monica and asked her if she'd show me how to make it. She did, and the dish has since become the one I turn to when the Sunday supper forecast calls for Epic. Some will quail at the use of no-boil sheets of lasagna, and if you are one of them, go to: Boil your own and use them instead. Even better are fresh sheets of lasagna, if you can find any. But, jeepers, the no-boil ones work well in this dish. Serve under candlelight, please, with a green salad dressed in a peppery vinaigrette."

    List of Ingredients

    ◦ ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    ◦ 6 large shallots, peeled and minced
    ◦ 1 ½ pounds mixed mushrooms, such as oyster, shiitake, and cremini, trimmed and sliced
    ◦ 1 cup dry white wine
    ◦ 1 softball-sized head of radicchio, halved, cored, and cut into ½-inch slices
    ◦ Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    ◦ 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
    ◦ 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
    ◦ ¼ cup all-purpose flour
    ◦ 3 cups whole milk
    ◦ ½ teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
    ◦ 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
    ◦ 1 cup grated Fontina cheese
    ◦ Two 9-ounce boxes no-boil lasagna sheets
    ◦ 1 baseball-sized ball smoked mozzarella, sliced
    ◦ 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


    Heat the oven to 350° F. Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add ¼ cup of the oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add half of the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the mushrooms and toss to coat, then cook until they begin to color but are still plump, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the pan and allow to cook down into a syrup, 5 to 7 minutes. Put the mushrooms into a large bowl and reserve.

    Meanwhile, in another bowl, toss the radicchio with the remaining ¼ cup oil and season well with salt and pepper. Spread the strips out onto a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven until the strips are lightly browned around the edges, about 15 minutes. Combine with the mushrooms and reserve.

    Make a béchamel. Place a saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter. When the butter foams, add the rest of the shallots and cook until they begin to turn translucent. Add the garlic and stir to combine, then cook until the garlic has begun to soften. Sprinkle the flour over the top and stir to combine, then cook gently until the mixture has turned light brown and gives off a nutty scent, about 10 minutes. Add the milk to the mixture, whisking as you do, and cook until the sauce is thick and creamy. Add the nutmeg, ¼ cup of the Gruyère, and ¼ cup of the Fontina, then stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Reserve 1 cup béchamel. Pour the rest over the mixture of mushrooms and radicchio, and stir to combine.

    Assemble the lasagna. Spread the béchamel across the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Place a layer of lasagna sheets across the sauce, being careful not to overlap. Spread a generous layer of the mushroom mixture on top of the pasta and follow some grated Gruyère and Fontina. Top with another layer of pasta, then with smoked mozzarella. Repeat until the pasta is gone and the pan is full. Top with the remaining Gruyère, Fontina, and mozzarella, and a generous amount of the grated Parmesan. Cover with a buttered sheet of aluminum foil and place in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook until the top is golden and bubbling. Let rest for 15 minutes or so, then serve with the remaining Parmesan on the side.




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