Ina's Portobello Mushroom Lasagna

I tend to gravitate towards lighter fare and clear, brothy soups in the spring and summer months. But by the time late autumn and early winter roll around, a hibernating instinct hits me like a brick. I start craving rich, high fat foods. Kind of like grizzly bear who eats around twice its body-mass before going into a den till spring. I feel like I need to prepare for the impeding winter and the Canadian (Alberta) Clippers that are bound to hit New York at some point in the next month or so. 
This lasagna uses butter and whole milk and is definitely not for those on a health kick. But sometimes you've just gotta do it.  Look at the French. They eat high fat, rich foods, and they drink tons of wine, but all in moderation.  
The portobello mushroom gives the lasagna a great meaty texture. You can also get a nice dose of Vitamin D, and according to several medical studies, mushrooms might inhibit aromatase, which may reduce breast cancer susceptibility.  So feel good about eating this delicious lasagna and toast to your health...sort of.

Ina's Portobello Mushroom Lasagna 

(Courtesy of Ina Garten)


  • Kosher salt
  • Good olive oil
  • 3/4 pound dried lasagna noodles
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms
  • 1 cup freshly ground Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon salt and a splash of oil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside.
For the white sauce, bring the milk to a simmer in a saucepan. Set aside. Melt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of the butter in a largesaucepan. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture all at once. Add 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring first with the wooden spoon and then with a whisk, for 3 to 5 minutes, until thick. Set aside off the heat.
Separate the mushroom stems from the caps and discard the stems. Slice the caps 1/4-inch thick. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large (12-inch) saute pan. When the butter melts, add half the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and they release some of their juices. If they become too dry, add a little more oil. Toss occasionally to make sure the mushrooms cook evenly. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms and set all the mushrooms aside.
To assemble the lasagna, spread some of the sauce in the bottom of an 8 by 12 by 2-inch baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top, then more sauce, then 1/3 of the mushrooms, and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan. Repeat 2 more times, layering noodles, sauce, mushrooms, and Parmesan. Top with a final layer of noodles and sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
Bake the lasagna for 45 minutes, or until the top is browned the sauce is bubbly and hot. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes and serve hot.