If you are a Garfield fan, you know that the cat hates Mondays (who doesn’t?) and obsesses over lasagna, announcing in one strip, “Once again, my life has been saved by the miracle of lasagna.”
If you are feeling a wee bit let down in the aftermath of the holidays, a steaming hot plate of ooey-gooey-cheesy lasagna might be just the miracle pick-me-up that you need.
This artichoke and portobello lasagna originated with Cafe Roka Restaurant in Arizona and their recipe was printed in the LA Times’ Culinary SOS column in 2012 at the request of a reader. The link to the original recipe appears at the bottom of this page.
This recipe serves 12.
Recipe: Artichoke and Portobello Lasagna
2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, medium dice
1 pound portobello mushrooms. medium dice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 14-ounce can artichokes (packed in water), drained and coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 pound coarsely chopped spinach
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 C. flour
4 1/2 C. milk
1 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 box oven-ready lasagna sheets (no-boil style)
1 pound grated whole milk mozzarella
Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
Blanch spinach for 30 seconds to 1 minute in a large pot of boiling water. Blanch the spinach a handful at a time to keep things manageable. Remove spinach from boiling water to a bowl of ice water to stop spinach from cooking. Drain. Squeeze as much water as you can out of the spinach by hand. Then, wrap spinach in a kitchen towel and twist to drain even more water from the spinach. Chop drained and squeezed spinach and set aside.
Saute onions in olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat until onions are soft. Add chopped mushrooms, increase heat slightly, and saute until mushroom juices evaporate. Add white wine and stir to dislodge any mushroom bits that are clinging to pan. Add garlic and artichokes to mushroom-onion mixture. Stir to mix. Season with 3/4 t. salt and 1/2 t. pepper or to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
Make the tomato-bechamel sauce. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. When butter is foamy, whisk in flour. Then, slowly whisk in milk (I used 4 C. half-and-half and 1 cup water). Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking until milk-flour mixture begins to thicken. This should take 10-12 minutes. Slowly stir in grated parmesan cheese. When cheese has melted, stir in the drained, diced tomatoes. Season with 3/4 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper or to taste. Add a pinch of nutmeg. Remove from heat and set aside.
Assemble lasagna. Spread 1 cup bechamel sauce over the bottom of a 13 inch by 9 inch pan. Place a layer of lasagna noodles over the bechamel sauce. Spread 1/4 vegetable mixture over the noodles. Spread another cup of bechamel over the vegetables and top with one forth of the grated mozzarella. Repeat with noodles, vegetables, sauce and mozzarella until you have four layers. If you have more than one cup of bechamel sauce left for the last layer, use it.Your top layer should be grated mozzarella.
Cover lasagna with plastic wrap and refrigerate if you are not going to cook it immediately.
When ready to bake the lasagna, remove plastic wrap and cover lasagna with foil. Place lasagna plan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake lasagna for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F. After 45 minutes, increase temperature to 450 degrees F., remove the foil and continue baking until the top of the lasagna is lightly browned for 8-12 minutes. Remove foil and cool on a rack for 20 minutes before serving.
Cook’s Note: This is a white-sauced lasagna. This lasagna can be served with a mild red marinara sauce spooned over the top at the time of serving. Either way, this dish has a very pretty presentation and great flavor.
Link to the original recipe fro the LA Times and Cafe Roka: