White Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms

INGREDIENTS | SERVES 12

  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 whole cloves
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 6 ounces (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup flour
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 1 package (1 pound) no-boil lasagna noodles (or par-cooked regular lasagna)
  • 1 pound ricotta
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or other top-quality Parmesan cheese
  • 1½ pounds shredded provolone, Monterey jack, or mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms (white, shiitake, cremini, portobello, etc.), sliced, seasoned, and sautéed
  • 1½ pounds fresh spinach (or 1 pound frozen chopped spinach, thawed), cooked
  1. Prepare the white sauce: Combine the milk, onion, bay leaves, cloves, and nutmeg in a small saucepan; simmer slowly for 10 minutes. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, stir in the flour, and cook on medium light until it smells slightly nutty, bubbles slightly, but has not darkened in color at all, about 3 minutes. Strain the milk; gradually whisk the strained milk into the bubbling flour mixture, whisking out any lumps that may form. Simmer 10 minutes; season with salt and white pepper.

  2. Assemble the lasagna: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 2 cups of white sauce on the bottom of a 9″ × 13″ baking dish. Arrange a layer of lasagna noodles onto the sauce; dot it with spoonfuls of ricotta (half of total), and a sprinkling of each of the other cheeses (⅓ of each). Form another noodle layer on top of the cheese.

  3. Distribute all of the cooked mushrooms and spinach in a single layer, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with another third of the grated and shredded cheeses, and dot with the remaining ricotta. Top with a final layer of noodle, smooth on another 2 cups of white sauce, and sprinkle with remaining cheeses.

  4. Bake until bubbly and browned on top, about 25 minutes. Rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting into 12 servings. Serve the remaining white sauce on the side.

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