By Mindy Woods
A Moorish spin on a traditional lasagna, my mushroom and roasted hazelnut lasagna is not only flavorsome but filling enough to convert event the most ravenous of carnivores to enjoy the occasional meat-free meal. Pecorino Al Tartufo really takes this celebration of mushrooms to the next level of deliciousness.
200 gm organic OO flour
1 free range egg
2 free range egg yolks
Extra flour for dusting
2 Tbsp fresh picked parsley leaves, washed and dried
500 gm. mixed mushrooms (Enoki, Oyster, Shitake, Swiss, Brown, Portobello, Button, King). Roughly chopped
4 Tbsp hazelnuts, dry roasted and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 sprigs fresh thyme, picked
1 cup grated Pecorino Al Tartufo cheese (roughly 300gm)
1/4 cup white wine or vegetable stock
On a clean bench, make a well inside the flour and crack the egg and two egg yolks inside the well, add a pinch of salt. Work the ingredients together dusting the bench as required to stop dough from sticking. Knead dough for a good ten minutes to achieve a smooth soft consistency. Wrap in cling film and rest for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.
This resting time is essential to allow the gluten bonds to develop as much strength as possible. Meanwhile, start filling.
Once rested, remove the pasta from fridge and cut into three portions. Working with one portion at a time, laminate the pasta through a pasta machine. To laminate, process each portion of pasta through the machine from widest setting to middle setting (1-3) three rimes. Once its passed through the third setting fold the dough onto itself twice and feed back through the widest setting once again. Lightly dusting both the pasta and pasta reel throughout this process prevents the dough from becoming sticky.
Once laminated, process each portion of pasta through to the second finest setting, lay down on lightly floured work bench and arrange picked parsley leaves on one half of the sheet.
Fold back the sheet on itself and seal in herbs by processing through pasta machine one final time on final setting. Hang on rack and repeat with remaining pasta.
In a large non-stick pan, melt butter in olive oil, saute mushrooms, garlic and thyme leaves over moderate to high heat until mushrooms are well browed and cooked down. Reduce heat, add lemon zest, chopped hazelnuts, white, wine, cream and lemon juice to taste, stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper if required. Remove from heat and allow cooling to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Blanch each pasta sheet for two minutes in salted boiling water. Remove and refresh in cold water, drain excess water ready for assembly.
Grease a medium ovenproof baking dish lightly with olive oil, layer pasta across base. Cover pasta with one quarter and sprinkle with 1/4 grated Pecorino*. Layer again with pasta and repeat with remaining ingredients, finishing with a layer of grated Pecorino on top.
Cover with foil to prevent drying out and cook in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook for a further 5 minutes or until golden brown.
Garnish with remaining chopped parsley and serve alongside garden greens dressed in sea salt, olive oil and lemon juice.
Pecorino Al Tartufo* is an Italian style sheep milk hard cheese infused with Truffle. It's readily available at Deli's and food providers specialising in cheese such as a Parmesan or Romano. Adding in 2tsp of black Truffle oil can be used to achieve that gorgeous Truffle flavour.
Store bought lasagne sheets are a perfect substitute for home made pasta. Opt for the fresh sheets over the dried variety in this recipe, or double the amount of cream and vegetable stock to ensure your lasagna remains lusciously moist.
Serves 4 as a main.
* The majority of pecorino is made using calf rennet. We suggest using a vegetarian 'hard style' cheese.