Lasagne has been enjoyed by Italians for centuries. The first record of lasagne dates back to Ancient Rome, but that primitive recipe is quite different from lasagne we know and love today: this initial recipe describes a flattened dough layered with cheese and spices and eaten using a pointed stick. In contrast to this primal-sounding dish, our sumptuous vegetarian lasagne layers earthy porcini and wild mushroom sauce between fresh sheets of pasta, and a healthy amount of Italian hard cheese.
Mushrooms have been integral to Italian cuisine for many years. Back in Ancient Rome, mushrooms were considered an expensive luxury. A philosopher of the time, Seneca, vowed to give them up in his attempt to purge anything non-essential, condemning the humble funghi to be an “unnecessary luxury”. Thankfully today, any number of exotic and earthy mushrooms are readily available, including the prized porcini, which take centre stage in our delicious vegetarian lasagne recipe.
Make Our Vegetarian Wild Mushroom Lasagne
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 80 minutes
Calories per serving: 513kcal
IngredientsFor the Soffrito (optional)
*Chef Roberta doesn't use soffrito in our video as it is equally delicious without, however, if you have the ingredients, feel free to add in the soffrito for a little aromatic touch.
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1-2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 750g wild mushrooms, chopped (not too small as they will reduce when cooked)
- 2-3 sprigs of rosemary
- A bunch of flat leaf parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 400g fresh lasagne sheets
- 500ml bechamel sauce
- 75g-100g Italian hard cheese (vegetarian) to sprinkle over each layer
Follow Chef Roberta's video for a step-by-step guide to our delicious vegetarian mushroom lasagne.
Béchamel & Lasagne Sheets
Ensure to prepare these ahead of making your sumptuous mushroom sauce. The recipes & step-by-step video guide can be found here:
For the mushroom layer:
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius.
- Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan. (if using) Add the onion, carrot, and celery, and saute until softened, for around five minutes. Remove this mixture from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, heat another 1-2 tablespoons of oil, add in your crushed garlic to infuse the oil.
- Add in the mushrooms and cook until they begin to reduce. Remove the garlic cloves and add in the parsley and sprigs of rosemary.
- Season with salt and pepper and then try to cook off as much of the liquid from the mushrooms as possible here, as you do not want any excess liquid in your lasagne.
- If using, add your soffrito into the mixture ensuring it is nicely combined.
- Where possible, remove the stalks of Rosemary from the sauce after which your lasagne is ready to assemble
- To assemble the lasagne, ladle a thin layer of the bechamel sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, top with a layer of lasagne sheets – don’t worry about overlapping sheets here. Add in a layer of your mushroom mixture, topped with more bechamel and a sprinkling of vegetarian cheese.
- Repeat these steps (pasta, mushroom mixture, bechamel and cheese) until all the sauce, mixture and pasta are used up. Aim for around 5 layers of pasta, and don’t forget to top with a generous amount of hard cheese.
- Cook the lasagne for 25-30 minutes, the lasagne should be bubbling on the top slightly and look beautifully golden.
- Remove from the oven and leave to stand for at least 5 minutes. To serve, slice into equal-sized portions and finish with freshly shaved Italian hard cheese. Buon appetito.
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