December 28, 2010

Four Cheese Lasagna with Mushrooms and Roasted Red Peppers

There are some recipes that I think benefit from experimenting, using fancy sauces or hard-to-come-by ingredients to elevate the dish to a new level. I love sneaking interesting ingredients into common foods, such as quick bread or soup because it keeps the foodie in me on its toes. However, some things just shouldn't be messed with too much. There are those dishes who benefit from a nice dress and their favorite pair of earrings, but few other embellishments. One of those things is lasagna.

I just love everything about lasagna. From the sound "gn" makes in Italian, to the therapeutic process of lovingly layering each ingredient, to the strand of gooey cheese that wraps itself delicately around your fork as you take the first bite.

As any self respecting Italian girl, I make my lasagna in the most imprecise way possible. When it looks like there's enough cheese (the horror), I stop. When I think the sauce will weigh everything down, I spread a thinner layer. I've come to realize that lasagna is about feeling the ingredients, not measuring everything. That being said, I tried to get down some measurement, for the sake of a recipe.

You'll thank me for that later, because trust me, you want to make this lasagna. It's full of homemade marinara, multiple cheeses, and all my love.

Four cheese lasagna with mushrooms and roasted red peppers

- 9 lasagne noodles
- 1 recipe for marinara sauce

- 10oz whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup shredded fontina
- 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan or romano

- 1 cup crimini mushrooms
- 1 large roasted red pepper
- 6 large basil leaves


- Combine ricotta, egg, garlic and parsley. Set in the refrigerator.
- Prepare vegetables: thinly slice mushrooms and saute them in a touch of olive oil until they begin to soften and release their juices. This will prevent your lasagna from getting soggy. To roast pepper, put it under the broiler until completely charred, allow to cool in a paper bag, then peel off the skin and slice it into thin strips.
- Assemble lasagna: Pour a bit of marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Place three lasagne noodles on top. Spread about half the ricotta, then half the mushrooms and pepper, 3 basil leave, then 1/3 of each shredded cheese. Repeat the process once more, then top with final three noodles, sauce, and remaining 1/3 of each shredded cheese. Cover lasagna and refrigerate it for at least an hour (chilling also prevents a soggy lasagna).
- When ready to cook the lasagna, preheat oven to 375 and bake for 40 minutes, or until top is brown and bubbly.

Serves up to 8

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  1. I love everything about this - esp the roasted peppers!

  2. @oliepants

    The roasted peppers tasted phenomenal in this!

  3. Wow-yes please! Bookmarking this and hoping to have a reason to make it ASAP!

  4. I've only made one shot at lasagna in my life and it came out so-so...I can't wait to make another one though!