Our favorite lasagne is a vegetarian take on the classic, creamy lasagne bolognese. In it, the meat is replaced with earthy shiitake mushrooms and the noodles aren't boiled before baking, so they're less mushy when they come out of the oven.
- 12 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 12 sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup flour
- 5 cups milk
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 lb. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, quartered
- 1⁄2 lb. spinach, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tbsp. chopped oregano
- 1 tbsp. chopped thyme
- 1 tbsp. chopped rosemary
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 5 cups whole canned tomatoes, crushed
- 1 lb. lasagna noodles
- 2 1⁄2 cups grated grana padano
- 2 1⁄2 cups grated fontina
Grease a 9"x 13" baking pan with 1 tbsp. butter. Cover dried tomatoes with 1 cup boiling water; soak for 20 minutes. Drain. Chop; set aside.
Make béchamel: Heat 8 tbsp. butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and carrots; cook 5 minutes. Add flour; cook 2 minutes. Whisk in milk; boil. Reduce to medium-low; simmer, whisking, until thick, 20–25 minutes. Add nutmeg; season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil and remaining butter in a 6-qt. pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook 10 minutes. Add dried tomatoes, spinach, garlic, parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and tomato paste; cook 3 minutes. Add canned tomatoes. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set sauce aside.
Heat oven to 375˚. Spread 2 cups tomato sauce in baking dish. Cover with a layer of noodles. Spread 1 cup béchamel over top; sprinkle with 1⁄2 cup of each cheese and 2 cups tomato sauce. Repeat layering 2 more times. Top with remaining noodles, tomato sauce, béchamel, and cheeses. Bake covered with foil on a baking sheet for 1 hour. Remove foil; raise oven to 500˚. Bake until golden, 15 minutes.