Mushroom, Fontina, and Spinach White Lasagna & Super Bowl Weekend

Feb 3, 2012

I am ready for the big game!  That exclamation point makes it seem as though I am actually excited about football.  I am not.  I like Boston sports teams as much as the next bookish traveller mom, but…what I really enjoy is the excitement other people have for the game.  While they cheer and watch, I have an excuse to serve hearty lasagna* (or, um, chili).  And a reason to make two or three desserts (super chewy chocolate chip cookies?  pineapple upside down cake?)…

May your weekend be filled with cheers.

 

The white lasagna is a big hit in my family as there is some debate as to the “grossness” of tomatoes.  Growing up in the UK, sauceless lasagna was the norm.  Try it as a variation…

Mushroom, Fontina, and Spinach White Lasagna

This is a versatile dish that can be served in winter or summer, piping hot or room temp for lunch with a salad or dinner with mixed root vegetables or buttery peas. It freezes well and can be made a day or two in advance of serving.

1 1/2 lbs sliced mushrooms

2 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 lbs spinach

2 cloves garlic, crushed

salt to taste

6 tbsp butter

6 tbsp flour

1 1/2 cups milk

3 egg whites

7-8 oz Fontina cheese, in small bits

lasagna noodles (no cook is fine)

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Oven to 350. Put the mushrooms in a deep skillet with olive oil. Heat on med-high. Meanwhile, wash the spinach and place in large pot with NO ADDITIONAL WATER to steam until just wilted (about 3-5 minutes on high). Once mushrooms have cooked down some (about 3 minutes) add the garlic and salt and stir. You want the mushrooms to release most of their water and just cook until soft - once this happens, turn off heat. Remove spinach to strainer and press to remove as much liquid as possible. Strain mushrooms into a large bowl and RESERVE MUSHROOM LIQUID. Let spinach and mushrooms cool in the bowl together. Meanwhile, make your roux. Melt butter in a saucepan and add flour, whisking as you go. Cook on medium-high for about 3 minutes until flour mixture is just coloring. Add milk bit by bit, whisking as you go. Let thicken slightly as you whisk for 1 minute. Add about 1 cup of mushroom liquid, more if the mixture is very thick. Mix egg whites into spinach-mushroom bowl and add the bits of fontina, reserving a handful for the top of the lasagna. Spread 1 cup of roux on bottom of 9x13 pan. Add one modest layer of noodles. Spread a layer of mushroom-spinach mix, and add a bit of roux on top of that. Repeat one more layer, using up the rest of the vegetable mixture. Add final layer of noodles, top with rest of roux and all remaining cheeses. Bake for about an hour until bubbling and starting to brown on top. LET SIT, COVERED, 8-10 minutes before serving.

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