Lasagna / Mushroom Risotto

Episode 102 'The Risotto Solution'


2 cups ricotta cheese

2 cups parmesan cheese, grated

1 egg

salt & pepper to taste

6 cups of your favorite tomato sauce (perhaps leftover meat sauce from episode 1)

1/2 pound Italian sausage, casings removed

12 to 16 no-boil lasagna noodles

4 cups mozzarella, shredded

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brown the ground sausage until mostly cooked, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. In a bowl, mix ricotta with egg, salt, pepper and optional basil.
  4. Spread a ladle full of tomato sauce (about a 1/4 cup) on the bottom of a 13″ x 9″ casserole dish. Place a layer of no boil noodles on the sauce, about 3 to 4 noodles.
  5. On top of each noodle, add a layer of the ricotta mixture. Use approximately 1/2 of the ricotta mixture. Top with 1 cup of mozzarella and 1/2 cup parmesan.
  6. Top with another layer of lasagna noodles.
  7. Add the browned Italian sausage over the noodles. Top with 1 cup mozzerella and 1/2 cup parmesan.
  8. Ladle enough sauce to cover the noodles over sausage and cheese. (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups.)
  9. Add another layer of noodles, and an another layer of ricotta cheese mixture. Top with another cup of mozzerella and 1/2 cup of parmesan.
  10. Top the final layer with one more layer of no-boil noodles. Top with remaining tomato sauce. Then top with the remaining mozzarella and the parmesan cheese.
  11. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes covered and 25 minutes uncovered. Cheese should be browned and the sauce boiling.
  12. Let the lasagna sit for 15 minutes before serving.


Mushroom Risotto

1 ½ cups arborio rice

4 portobello mushroom, sliced

12 medium mushrooms, crimini or white button, coarsely chopped

½ cup dry white wine

4 cups heated vegetable broth, heated (Give or take. Risotto takes however much or little broth as it takes to stay moist until it the rice is tender.)

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ cup butter, plus 1 Tbsp

¼ cup parmesan, grated

salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbsp olive oil

  1. In a large saucepan or pot, sautee the mushrooms in 1 Tablespoon of butter until softened, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid and reserve.
  2. In the same pan. add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the onion over medium heat until golden.
  3. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add rice and cook with onions, mushrooms and garlic until translucent.
  5. Add wine and cook until absorbed.
  6. Stir in 1 cup of chicken broth (It is important that the broth is heated in the microwave, especially in the beginning, to keep the cooking process going. Risotto is too tricky to have cold or room temperature broth slow cooking) and bring to a simmer, stirring regularly. When the broth has been absorbed, add another cup and continue adding cups as absorbed, for 18 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
  7. When the rice is soft, stir in the cheese and remaining butter. Return mushrooms to the risotto and stir.
  8. Salt to taste, and serve immediately topped with any extra parmesan as garnish.