LASAGNA WITH PESTO AND MUSHROOMS

This lasagna is not the "normal" type of lasagne with meat and sauce.

It is therefore excellent for all the vegetarians out there, but try to get the ingredients ready and chopped before you start the recipe, as this will make the cooking of it easier.

I used an instant pack of lasagne and as there is quite a bit of liquid in this recipe, the actual lasagne sheets were done to perfection when the dish was finished.

This lasagne is also excellent for re-heating, and although the lasagne takes a while to actually make, it is well worth the extra effort with the stunning taste.

Lasagne can be frozen though sometimes it gets a bit watery, however this will virtually disappear when you microwave it.


Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 60 minutes
Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients
70 g unsalted butter
40 g plain flour
850 ml milk
¾ cup good-quality basil pesto
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, or use ready made garlic crushed
900g Swiss brown mushroom, or mixture of button and Swiss
¼ cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup thickened cream
½ cup grated cheese, preferably Parmesan.
Parmesan cheese grated for serving
230 g Lasagna sheets
Basil leaves, to garnish (optional)

Method
Melt 40 g of the butter in a saucepan over a low heat.

Add the flour and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes until it is bubbling. Gradually add the milk, whisking until combined, and then keep cooking until it thickens.

Stir in the pesto, and season with the pepper.

Keep this part of the meal warm by covering it with baking paper.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C.

Melt the remaining butter in a larger pan over a low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring it for 10 minutes or until it is softened.

Add the mushrooms, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook for 2 - 3 minutes until it is  softened.

Stir in the parsley, cream and 4 tbs of the Parmesan, and then remove it from the heat.

Spread several spoonfuls of the pesto sauce in the base of a 2 litre (8 cup) baking dish. Cover  this with a layer of lasagne sheets, spread with half the mushrooms, then repeat with more of the pasta and the remaining mushrooms.

Top with more pasta sheets, then spread with the remaining pesto sauce.

Cover it first with baking paper and then with foil, and bake it for 40 minutes.

Uncover it, sprinkle with remaining 2 tbs Parmesan, and bake it again for a further 10-15 minutes or until golden.

Allow it to cool for at least 5 minutes, then slice and serve with the extra Parmesan and basil, if required.

My visitors said it was the best lasagna they have ever had!

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