Monday, May 16, 2011

Sausage, Mushroom and Kale Lasagna

I found this recipe for a Sausage, Swiss Chard and Lemon Lasagna in a Martha Stewart Magazine which looked good, but then I had all these mushrooms I needed to use and all of a sudden I hadn't followed the recipe at all!  I'll probably still go back and try that, because but I love lemony stuff!

I used kale in my lasagna, but any green would work, swiss chard or spinach, would be awesome.  I also used Italian Turkey sausages in this recipe in order to reduce some of the fat.  I cooked them up ahead of time, and sliced them once they will chilled.

You can make this up ahead of time, and bake when needed.  I brought it to the guy's band practice, and they yummied it up.  I apologize in advance for the finished picture below... lasagna is hard to photograph, and it was harder in someone else's kitchen, umm, especially after a glass of wine. 

Being a spicy kind of gal, I did think that the finished dish needed MORE seasoning, so I have reflected that in the below recipe.  So don't be shy about the flavors, make sure your sauce, mushrooms and kale are nice and spicy.  Baking with all the noodles somehow mutes the flavors a bit, so you need to highly season everything you are laying up.  Got it?

Serves about 8
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
4 cups whole milk
1 tsp salt
2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 8 ounces)
1 cup mozzarella, grated (about 4 ounces)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
5 cups coarsely chopped Kale (about 1 bunch)
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 medium shallots, minced
1 pound sweet italian turkey sausage, cooked, cooled and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp Lemon zest
1 lemon, juiced
12 oz. no-boil lasagna noodles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook sausages on a baking sheet for about 35-40 minutes, or in a skillet over high heat, breaking up pieces, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
Melt butter in a saucepan over high heat. Stir in flour; cook for 2 minutes.

Whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat. Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Make sure the sauce tastes really good to you at this stage, this is the base of the whole dish.

Slice and saute onions and mushrooms.  Do not add salt until they are done cooking, it releases juices from the mushrooms and you won't be able to get a nice browning on them. When they are the color you like and cooked through, turn off heat and season well.

Cut up kale, and saute in a a tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, some lemon zest, red pepper flakes and salt over medium high heat.  Cook about 3 minutes, it should be wilted but still bright green. Set aside and cool.
To assemble lasagna, using a 9x13 pan,
1) Ladle a small amount of sauce in bottom of the pan. 
2) Add a layer of the uncooked no-boil noodles, top with more sauce, and about 1/2 of your cooked sausage and about 1/2 cup of cheese. 
3) Another layer of noodles, more sauce and a layer of kale and more cheese. 
4) Another layer of noodles, sauce and the mushrooms
5) Another layer of noodles, sauce and the sausage. 
6) Top with more sauce and then cheese, being sure to drench the top and all the edges, using all the sauce.  This moisture in the sauce helps the noodles cook and for everything to do nice and gooey, tasty!

Ideally, you want this to be very tall in the pan, since it will drop and condense down by about half by the time it's done baking.  I try to get my lasagna over the top, but I DO bake this pan on a baking sheet to catch the drips.  It's certainly better than cleaning your oven...

Remove from oven. Heat broiler. Uncover lasagna; top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Broil until bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes.

Finished dish...

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