The Soapdish 'Extra Cheesy' Deepdish Lasagne
Sweat, Tears, Heartbreak...and that's only from making the sauce!!
You will need:
For the Tomato Sauce:
- 2 tbl olive oil
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 lbs ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or 1-28 oz can crushed Italian tomatoes)
- salt and pepper
For the Wild Mushroom Bechamel:
- 4 tbl butter
- 1/2 lb wild mushrooms, sliced (chanterelles or shiitake)
- 2 c milk
- 3 tbl flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 tbl fresh basil, minced
For the Eggplant:
- 2 lbs Japanese eggplant, sliced lengthwise in 1/2" slices
- 2 tbl olive oil, extravirgin
- 1 tbl garlic, finely chopped
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbl parsley, finely chopped
For the Cheeses:
- 1 cup Pecorino Romano, grated
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, grated
- 1 1/2 cups provolone, grated
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1 egg
- pinch nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- 1 copy "A Daytime Actor Prepares" by Stanislovsky
For the Pasta:
- 1 lb fresh pasta sheets or
- 1 box dry lasagne noodles, boiled and drained (usually 28 sheets in a box)
- 1 can of wind tunnel tested, super hold hairspray
- 1 bottle industrial strength "Man-Tan"
1. Make the tomato sauce: Heat the oil with the onion in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another minute or two. Add tomatoes and simmer uncovered until the sauce just begins to thicken, about 20 minutes.
2. Make the Wild Mushroom Bechamel:In a medium saucepan, on medium-low heat, bring the milk to a simmer. Do not boil.
3. In a separate, heavy bottomed saucepan, melt half of the butter over a medium flame, add the sliced mushrooms and saute for about 5 minutes, until softened. Remove from the pan and set aside.
4. In the same pan, melt remaining butter over a low flame, add the flour and cook without browning for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk the scalded milk into the butter and flour mixture a few tablespoons at a time, adding more as each previous addition is incorporated. Once all the milk has been added, simmer over a low heat until thick and creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the sauteed mushrooms, basil, salt and set aside in a warm spot.
5. Cook the eggplant: Preheat the broiler. Toss the sliced eggplant with the olive oil, garlic and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Arrange the slices on a cookie sheet and broil for about 5 minutes on each side, depending on the heat of the broiler. Toss with the chopped parsley and set aside.
6. Prepare the Cheese: Toss the grated Romano, mozzarella and provolone together and set aside. Mix the ricotta with the egg, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside.
7. Assemble the dish: Preheat oven to 375 - F. Grease a 9" x 13" baking dish with butter, then spread 1/2 cup of the bechamel and 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce evenly over the bottom followed by: a) pasta sheets b)one cup tomato sauce c)pasta sheets d)half of the eggplant e)one cup tomato sauce f)one third of the cheese g)pasta sheets h)the ricotta mixture i)pasta sheets j)1 cup tomato sauce k)the remaining eggplant l)one third of the cheese m)pasta sheets n)the remaining bechamel o)the remaining cheese.
8. Bake until the cheese on top begins to turn light brown and the sauce bubbles around the edges, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool 5-10 minutes before cutting.
9. Tip: If you are currently suffering from amnesia, have one of your guests (perhaps the secret lover of your ex's fiance's evil twin) help keep track when layering all those fillings. If one of your guests is having a bout of amnesia, tell them it's their turn to do the dishes.