I bought a new cookbook. It’s not something I do very often, but when I do it’s sooooooo exciting. This one is Gourmet Weekday from the now defunct Gourmet magazine and it is full of lovely, easy, tasty dinners that don’t take half your day to prepare. That said, this being from Gourmet, they aren’t necessarily 5 ingredient, 30 minute dinners either, but somewhere in between. This was the first one I tried and it was lovely. I subbed in fresh whole wheat pasta sheets for the oven ready ones and used Grada Padano instead of Parmigiano-Reggiano, because that’s what I had. I would recommend adding in some rehydrated dried wild mushrooms if you’ve got them, incorporating the liquid into the sauce, for a flavour boost if you like mushrooms. This was creamy and flavourful and everything you want from a treaty meal, without being too rich, especially when accompanied by a nice green salad. I increased the proportions to accommodate my 3 quart casserole dish instead of an 8×8 square, so this is my recipe for the slightly bigger dish. Hope your family likes it as much as mine – this finally convinced my 6 year old she likes mushrooms!
10 oz cremini (brown) mushrooms, thinly sliced
a handful of dried, wild mushrooms, rehydrated, liquid reserved (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
6 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup dry white wine
3 cups shredded chicken meat, from a deli roast chicken (approx. 1/2 a chicken)
3 1/2 cups whole milk (I used 2% and a little cream)
1/3 cup flour
4 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 cup grated Grada Padano
6 fresh whole wheat pasta sheets (my dish uses 1 1/2 sheets per layer, you may want to measure yours to ensure you have enough sheets)
2 cups coarsely grated Gruyere
1. Preheat oven to 425 and find a 3 quart casserole dish (a deep 9×9 would probably work as well)
2. Cook mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper in oil and 1 Tbsp of butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are softened, then add the wine, wild mushrooms and liquid, if using, and boil for 2 minutes. Stir in chicken and set aside.
3. Warm milk either in a small saucepan or the microwave, so that you are not adding cold milk to the sauce. Melt remaining butter in a 4 quart saucepan over medium low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Slowly pour in milk, whisking constantly until all is incorporated. Add thyme and 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Cook for another 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. Remove from heat and scoop out 1 cup of sauce, set aside.
4. Stir parmesan into the sauce in the pan, then add the chicken mixture. This is the filling.
5. Spread 1/2 of the reserved sauce on the bottom of the pan to coat it. Add the first of layer of pasta sheets, and 1/3 of the filling, then sprinkle 1/4 of the Gruyere on top. Repeat 2 more times, then top with remaining pasta sheets, the remainder of the reserved sauce and the remaining Gruyere.
6. Cover with foil, making sure the foil does not touch the top of the lasagna, then bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden on top. Let lasagna stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.