Cooler weather leads to heartier appetites. The salads of summer are left behind, and robust, more filling entrees take center stage in the fall. My recipe for Sausage and Mushroom Lasagna is perfect autumn fare, and it’s elegant enough to serve for company.
Hot Italian or bulk sausage is crumbled, and then browned in a skillet. Fresh sliced mushrooms, garlic, fresh chopped rosemary, dried thyme, beef broth, white wine and whipping cream make a spicy sauce for the lasagna. If time is short, stop here, and serve over fettuccine or penne pasta with a grating of Romano or Parmesan cheese.
However, continue on, and make this a showstopper by simmering up a creamy white sauce, add layers of no-boil lasagna noodles and grated Parmesan and Gruyere cheeses, and you’re in lasagna heaven.
The lasagna can be made ahead, reheats beautifully and can even be baked, then frozen for several months. Add a salad and a glass of wine for a luscious way to welcome the fall.
Brown sausage over medium-high heat in a large skillet until no longer pink. Remove sausage from skillet and set aside. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings. Heat over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary and thyme and sauté 3 minutes more. Add white wine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 3 to 5 minutes, until reduced by 1/3. Add beef broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, until reduced by 1/3. Add whipping cream, bring to a boil and simmer until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and set sauce aside.
- 1 pound hot Italian* or bulk pork sausage, crumbled
- 16 ounces fresh mushrooms (a combination of white button and shitake mushrooms is suggested)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 14-ounce can lower sodium beef broth
- 1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream
Melt butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and stir for 1 minute. Gradually add milk, whisking well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add heavy cream and set aside.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups skim milk
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup whipping or heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drizzle 1/4 cup of whipping cream over the bottom of an 8 1/2-by-11-inch glass baking dish. Place 3 of the lasagna noodles over the cream. Spread half of sausage sauce over noodles, and then spread with 3/4 cup of béchamel sauce. Combine grated cheeses in a medium bowl, and sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese over béchamel sauce. Top with 3 more noodles, remaining sausage sauce, 3/4 cup of béchamel sauce and 1/3 of the cheese. Top with remaining noodles, béchamel sauce and cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Allow lasagna to rest at room temperature 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
- 1/4 cup whipping or heavy cream
- 9 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
Makes 8 servings.
*Remove casing before crumbling if Italian sausage is used.
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