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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Portobello Mushroom and Almond Pesto Lasagna

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Unfortunately, this picture does not do this dish justice. The problem with being an amateur food blogger is that my photography abilities lag my abilities in the kitchen, meaning often times my pictures don't quite capture the essence of a dish. Such is the case with this lasagna. My mom brought down a stack of recipes to St. Louis from which we chose our Christmas dinner menu. As soon as I read through this recipe, I knew it was a must-make. My inclination was correct; this lasagna was absolutely fabulous.

Ryan, my non-lasagna loving husband, couldn't stop raving about this. This isn't your standard meat and cheese laden dish. Rather, this a bit lighter, with a nutty tang from the lemony almond pesto. To say we all loved this would be an understatement. Trust me on this one; save the recipe and make it soon! It really isn't difficult to put together, provided you have a food processor to make the pesto. You can easily put it together earlier in the day and bake just before serving. For Christmas dinner, I doubled the below recipe and baked it in a 9x13 dish. Try it, and let me know what you think!

One Year Ago: Raspberry Amaretto Trifle (one of my most impressive-looking desserts to date!)

Portobello Mushroom and Almond Pesto Lasagna
from Every Day with Rachel Ray

-3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-5 large portobello mushroom cabs thinly sliced
-salt and pepper
-2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
-3 cups sliced almonds (10 oz), toasted
-1 cup grated parmesan cheese
-2 cloves garlic, chopped
-grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
-6 no-boil lasagna sheets
-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms and season with salt & pepper. Cook mushrooms until softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
2. Add the tomatoes to the skillet, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and cook until softened (6-7 minutes).
3. In a food processor, process the almonds, parmesan, garlic, lemon peel, lemon juice, and remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil. Pulse until a coarse paste is formed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. In an 8-inch square baking dish, spread half of the tomatoes across the bottom. Place 2 lasagna sheets on top. Spread a third of the pesto over the sheets; sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and half of the mushrooms. Add another layer of lasagna sheets, pesto, cheese, and mushrooms. Top with another layer of lasagna sheets, spread with remaining pesto, and top with remaining tomatoes.
5. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and baking for an additional 10 minutes. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before slicing.