Just when I get back from a month or so of travels, Nicole Franzen has to go and start posting photos on Instagram during her travels through Italy. It’s one of the places I’ve always wanted to go – my wanderlust could easily take me most places but Italy is on the lifelong list. The food, the architecture, the style – it looks like a dream. So when the folks at Colombo – a company I’ve worked with in the past – asked if I’d like to submit a recipe for the chance at a week in Italy, I of course said yes. They make a wonderful product that we’ve used in our house a good deal in the past….AND I’d get to go to Italy? Sure thing. My sweet husband’s birthday – one of those big interval ones – is coming up at the beginning of next year and I’d love to be the one that takes him.
Maybe it’s because I’d been working on Italian food and lasagna the past few days…or possibly a string of grey dreary days…but I just needed baked, cheesy comfort food. This isn’t a traditional oozy, gooey red sauce lasagna. This is a bit more compact and rich with nutty dry Marsala wine and a bit of white cheeses. The no-bake noodles also make this a bit easier than the usual recipes. There’s Marsala in this one at every turn – in the ricotta, brushed on the layers and used to rehydrate the mushrooms. Served with a big helping of tangy green salad, this lasagna is a lovely winter meal.
If you want to vote for this recipe – or any of the others, for that matter – please check out the Colombo Marsala 12 Days of Marsala page. As a little incentive for those that cast their ballot, each day a winner is chosen to receive a $50 gift card and some Colombo Marsala goodies.
Marsala Mushroom Lasagna – makes one 9×13″ pan
⁃ 1 pound dried porcini or mixed dried gourmet mushrooms
– 2 cups Colombo dry Marsala wine
⁃ 1 32 oz. tub whole milk ricotta cheese
⁃ 1 8 oz. tub Mascarpone cheese
⁃ kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
⁃ 2 tbsp. olive oil (divided)
⁃ 1 box no-bake or oven ready lasagna noodles
⁃ 2 cloves garlic, minced
⁃ 2 lbs. Cremini mushrooms, sliced
⁃ 8 ounces freshly grated Parmesan
⁃ 3 cups good quality shredded Mozzarella
– In a large jar with a lid or in a bowl you can cover, combine the dried mushrooms and Colombo Marsala wine. Stir or shake to get them mixed up thoroughly. Cover and allow to sit for 1 hour to reconstitute. Drain the mushrooms into a large mixing bowl, reserving the Marsala liquid.
– Preheat the oven to 375.
– In another mixing bowl, combine the ricotta and Mascarpone cheese. Take two tablespoons of the Marsala that the mushrooms soaked in and stir into the cheese mixture. Season the cheese mixture with salt and pepper then set aside.
– In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil and saute the garlic until softened but not brown, 2-3 minutes. Add in the sliced fresh Cremini mushrooms and cook until they start to become tender but not cooked all the way through – this was 4-5 minutes for me but depends on their size. Pull off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Combine with the rehydrated mushrooms.
– Prep a 9×13 baking pan with a bit of olive oil or cooking spray. Place one layer of no bake noodles on the bottom of the pan. Using a pastry or basting brush, brush the noodles with a bit of the reserved Marsala wine. Spread on a layer of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with 1/2 of the mushroom mixture, a cup of Mozzarella cheese and 1/3 of the grated Parmesan. Repeat this process to create another layer, using up the remaining mushroom mixture. Top with a final layer of noodles, brush them with the Marsala (you will have liquid remaining after that) and top with the remaining cup of Mozzarella and 1/3 of the Parmesan.
– Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the top cheese layer is browned. Allow to rest for 10 minutes or so before serving.