Smokey mushroom and roast kale lasagna

Photos by Ana Cuba

Recipes by Anna Jones from The Modern Cook’s Year courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 30g dried porcini
  • 450g mushrooms
  • 25g butter, plus more for greasing
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 150g kale, stalks removed, leaves torn into bit-sized pieces
  • 300g fresh lasagne sheets
  • 150g Parmesan, grated
  • Truffle oil (optional)

FOR THE BÉCHAMEL:

  • 1 litre whole milk or almond milk
  • ½ small onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 50g butter
  • 75g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon smoked water (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cover the porcini with 200ml of boiling water.
  2. Clean your mushrooms, using a brush or damp kitchen paper to dust off any dirt, then tear or slice them into bit-sized pieces.
  3. For the béchamel, heat the milk in a pan with the onion, bay and peppercorns until boiling. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a jug and set aside for later.
  4. To cook your mushrooms, melt half the butter in a large frying pan over a very high heat and add a splash of olive oil.
  5. Let the plan get nice and hot, then add half the fresh mushrooms and cook, moving them around the pan until they are browned and crisp (about 5-7 minutes).
  6. Season with a pinch of salt and remove the first batch to a large bowl.
  7. Put the pan back on the heat, add the rest of the butter and a bit more oil, and cook the rest of the mushrooms.
  8. Once the second batch is golden, drain the porcini, keeping the soaking liquid, then roughly chop them and add them to the pan of mushrooms along with the parsley.
  9. Stir together and tip into the bowl with the rest of the mushrooms.
  10. For the sauce, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the flour and mix well, allowing it to cook for a couple of minutes so the flour loses its rawness.
  11. Take the pan off the heat and add the milk bit by bit, starting with small drops and stirring well with a balloon whisk to prevent lumps forming.
  12. Once you have mixed in all the milk, stir in the porcini soaking liquid and put the pan back on the heat.
  13. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly—the mixture will thicken.
  14. Simmer for 3 minutes, then stir in the smoked water (if using) and the parsley and mushroom mixture and heat gently. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  15. In a bowl, scrunch the kale with a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper and mix through the sauce too.
  16. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  17. Butter an oven dish (about 20 x 30cm).
  18. If you are using dried pasta sheets, boil the pasta in salted water according to the packet instructions. If you are using fresh, cook the sheets in boiling water for 2 minutes, cooking 4 squares at a time and assembling the dish as you go.
  19. Start with a layer of pasta, then sauce, then a sprinkling of Parmesan and keep going, building up the layers until you have used all the pasta sheets, and finishing with a layer of sauce and Parmesan.
  20. Bake in the over for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbling.
  21. Drizzle with truffle oil if you like, and serve with more Parmesan and some green salad.