Lasagna with Chicken, Portobello Mushrooms, Spinach and Four Cheeses

Serves 10-12


Ingredients:

  • 5 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium – large onions, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 500g fresh portobello mushrooms trimmed and roughly chopped ( if portobello mushrooms are not available then substitute with a button or Swiss brown)
  • 250g English spinach leaves, stems removed and leaves washed or baby spinach leaves left whole and rinsed
  • 4 T butter
  • 2 kg skinless chicken thighs fillets cut into approximately ½-inch pieces
  • 1cup dry white wine
  • 200g corn flour
  • 1 cup pouring cream
  • 1 cup of mascarpone
  • 5 cups milk
  • Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
  •  11/2 cups of Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 20 sheets of The Pasta Company fresh lasagne sheets
  • 700g of fontina cheese, cut into small pieces, grated mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan cheeses mixed and set aside
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan separate to he cheese mix
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 170oC

In a large Dutch oven or heavy stockpot, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-low heat.
Add the onion and celery and season with salt and pepper then sauté stirring constantly. When the onion and celery become transparent add the garlic and place mix in a bowl and set aside.

Turn the heat up to high, and add mushrooms. Sauté , constantly stirring, for a couple of minutes then add the spinach leaves. Cook until spinach leaves are wilted and mushrooms are just cooked. Remove these ingredients and place to the side .

Turn the heat to a medium.

Add the butter and remaining oil to the pan. Season and coat the chicken –  Place the corn flour into a freezer or zip lock bag along with salt and black pepper . Hold the bag tight and shake to evenly mix the seasoned flour. Add the chicken pieces into the seasoned flour bag and again shake to coat the pieces  in the flour coating on all sides, add this to the sizzling melted butter and oil. Cook, stirring, until the chicken is almost cooked through- we do not want crisp or golden chicken pieces!

Add the white wine and simmer until reduced. Sprinkle the left over flour from the chicken over the chicken, and sauté  stirring, till the chicken and liquid thicken. Slowly add the cream, mascarpone and milk, and whisk constantly.

Simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly, allowing the liquid to thicken.  Reserve 2 cups of liquid without chicken pieces.

Remove the pan from the heat, and add the onion, garlic, celery and mushroom mix. Add the chopped parsley. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste.

Layering the Lasagna:
Place a layer of 4 lasagna sheets on the bottom of a greased lasagna tray, overlapping them slightly. Top with one third of the chicken mixture, then one third of the cheese mix. Repeating till reaching the top of the tray, finishing with a layer of pasta. Spread the reserved sauce over the top sheets of pasta and then sprinkle with Parmesan.   Cover with foil and  bake for 1/2 an hour to 40 minutes. Increase heat to high around200oC – 210oC, remove the foil,  and then bake until golden brown, around 10 minutes till a golden yellow brown and bubbling on top.

Recipe by, Kerryn Saffioti.

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