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Porcini Lasagne with Fresh Spinach
A deliciously rich and comforting autumnal meal, using autumnal wild and field mushrooms cooked in a garlic cream sauce and layered between sheets of egg pasta, wilted baby spinach, nutmeg and finished with a parmesan crust.
- Serves six.
- Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
- Cooking time: 45-50 minutes
- 12 dried egg lasagne sheets approximately 15cm x 8cm/6 x 3 inches
- 500g/1lb 2oz fresh washed baby spinach leaves – wilted and drained
- 85g/3oz butter
- 1 large onion – chopped
- 4 cloves garlic – chopped
- 500g/1lb 2oz chestnut mushrooms – sliced
- 60g/2¼oz mixed dried porcini mushrooms – reconstituted in 350ml/12 fl oz boiling water
- 3 level tablespoons plain flour
- 200ml/7 fl oz dry white wine
- 350ml/12 fl oz single cream
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 85g/3oz grated parmesan cheese
- Fresh chopped parsley to serve
- Oven: 190°C / 375° F / Gas Mark 5 / Fan Oven: 170°C, pre-heated.
- Melt the butter in a deep frying pan over a medium heat on the hob, add the chopped onion and garlic and fry until softened.
- Add the sliced fresh mushrooms and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the soaked porcini mushrooms from the liquid with a slotted spoon. Pass the liquor through a fine strainer to remove any grit, retaining the liquor for later.
- Stir the soaked mushrooms into the frying pan.
- Move the pan away from the heat, sprinkle over the flour and combine. Stir in the retained mushroom liquor, white wine, cream and nutmeg.
- Return the pan to the heat and continue to cook over a low to medium heat, stirring until the sauce thickens.
- Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Add 3-4 large serving spoonfuls of sauce to the base of the dish followed by a horizontal row of 3 sheets of pasta.
- Divide the spinach into 3 equal parts and the remaining sauce into 4.
- Use one third of the spinach to make a layer on top of the pasta sheets. Top with a quarter of the sauce and finish with a layer of 3 pasta sheets.
- Repeat process 2 more times.
- Add the remaining quarter of sauce on top of the final pasta layer and sprinkle over the grated parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until brown and bubbling.
- Serve with a dusting of freshly chopped parsley and some warm crusty bread.
- To wilt the spinach, place in a covered bowl and microwave at 800w for 1½ minutes. Alternatively steam for 2 minutes. Drain off the liquid and lightly season with salt and pepper.
- To reconstitute the dried porcini mushrooms, pour over the boiling water and soak for 30 minutes.