Mushroom Polenta Lasagna

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“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
 
Julia Child

Wasn’t she great? I mean, Julia…Anyway, let’s start with today’s recipe.

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It’s rainy and cold outside and I’ve come to realize that I’m nearly insufferable when it comes to weather that isn’t sunshine and warmth. There’s a certain amount of comfort in this all -the -time- grey… and the way it transforms into a deep and bright black. I ‘m falling sleep around 4:30 pm everyday now… so I wake up in the middle of the night thinking is already next morning and… OOOHH… I see is still dark outside, Paul hasn’t even come back home yet from work… UPPS! Time for dinner, I guess.

Raise your hands those who simply love Italian food? That’s me!!!

Italian food is great, nothing compares to the taste, the texture, even the combination of ingredients.

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Well, less talk and more action. I found this recipe in one of my favorite magazines and decided to try (with some changes of my part), so here it is.

From Food Network Magazine and Me, of course.

::Mushroom Polenta Lasagna::

For the sauce*

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered

1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps quartered

Kosher salt

1 onion, chopped

3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 15-ounce can Muir Glen Organic whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for topping

Heat 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add half of the button and shiitake mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, until slightly browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring, until soft, 2 to 3 more minutes; transfer to a bowl. Repeat with another 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil and the remaining button and shiitake mushrooms. Transfer to the bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil to the skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring until darkened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, button and shiitake mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley; season with salt.

For the lasagna

2 1/2 cups polenta

Kosher salt

1 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3 cups grated mozzarella cheese

Bring 7 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan; transfer to a large heatproof bowl. Meanwhile, bring 3 cups water to a boil in a separate large saucepan. Gradually whisk the polenta and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt into the bowl of hot water. Cover the bowl tightly with foil and set over the saucepan of boiling water. Reduce the heat so the water is simmering; cook the polenta until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, uncover and vigorously whisk in the parmesan, eggs and nutmeg.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Use a 3-quart baking dish. Spread one-third of the polenta in the dish and top with half of the mushroom sauce. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella. Repeat the layers (polenta, sauce, mozzarella), then top with the remaining polenta. (If the polenta gets too thick, whisk in a little hot water.)

Loosely cover the dish with foil and bake until bubbly,no more than 30 to 40 minutes. Uncover the lasagna and top with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella; leave it in the oven until the cheese melts, 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

*Tip: If you feel more in the carnivore side, you can add to the sauce, ground beef or diced chicken breast.

 

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