This is not starting out to be a stellar day. Of course it hasn't exactly been a stellar week since Max's been having seizures for the past 2 days and sleep, or anything else for that matter, has been practically non existent. The Big Guy just left for at convention in beautiful Napa, California for 4 days and now to top it all off, I hit the wrong button and deleted the entire day's post I'd this second finished writing so now I'm starting all over. Are you feeling sorry for me yet? That's OK, I'm feeling plenty pouty all on my own, thank you very much. GRRR
There's something I've learned over the last little while and it's pretty darn profound. Neither pizza nor lasagna need to have a red sauce in order to be delicious. There's plenty of evidence of that in past posts on this blog, if ya' really want to see some proof. Take for example our recent Clam's Casino Pizza or the one we had with Duck way back when. Neither had tomato sauce and both were delicious.
Well last night's lasagna was just as successful without a sauce made from what my friend Lea calls "the fruit of death" (she's allergic) and better yet, assisted in clearing out the pantry and fridge before we leave on vacation.
Sheets of pasta layered between sauteed onions and mushrooms cooked in marsala, crumbled cooked chicken sausage and the requisite cheese made up the base of this beauty, along with a quick and simple bechamel sauce of course. Gotta have moisture ya' know. I also added some fresh basil as well as a can of drained diced tomatoes, but honestly it really didn't need the tomatoes.
The result, kinda good although in my opinion it needed another cup or so of bechamel sauce, but that's because I happen to love the stuff. The great thing is I've plenty of leftovers to eat while the Big Guy's away drinking great wine and dining fine. Boo hiss! One thing I know for sure, if he goes anywhere near the French Laundry without me, I'm gonna' string him up!
Chicken ‘Shroom Lasagna with Béchamel (a JBug’s Kitchen original)
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk (or 2 percent – do not use skim)
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Do not allow to brown. Remove pan from heat and slowly whisk in milk. Return pan to heat and continue whisking until sauce thickens – about 3 to 5 minutes. Add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and place a piece of parchment directly on top of sauce to prevent skin from forming. Set aside.
2 onions chopped
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil (plus 2 more tablespoons)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
10 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
1 pound Hot or Sweet Italian chicken sausage
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained (optional)
12 ounce package Italian 4 cheese blend
1 – 12 ounce package oven ready lasagna noodles
Place lasagna noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 10 minutes until partially softened, then drain, and set aside. Meanwhile in heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and when hot, add onions. Cook until onions are softened, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, oregano, Italian seasoning and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove to a bowl and set aside. In same skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and when hot add mushrooms to the pan. Cook, stirring until mushrooms just start to brown. Add Marsala wine and cook until wine is completely gone and mushrooms are starting to brown. Add to onions in bowl and set aside. Heat skillet again over medium heat and add chicken sausage. Cook until sausage is no longer pink.
Preheat oven to 375. Spray a large casserole or lasagna pan with cooking spray. Blot moisture from lasagna noodles with a paper towel and arrange a layer of noodles in bottom of pan. Top with 1/2 of onion, mushroom mixture, and sprinkle with half the cooked sausage; add half of the basil and half of the tomatoes. Cover with another layer of noodles. Spread half the béchamel sauce on top of this layer of noodles and cover with half the cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients, finishing with béchamel and cheese on top. Cover tightly with a layer of foil and bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting. Serves 6 to 8. Download CHicken Mushroom Lasagna with Bechamel
A year ago - Biba's Bolognese with Risotto