UPDATED 4th MAY 2008
This recipe is a complete invention but was inspired by something I had eaten at Bord Eau a couple of weeks ago.
Anyway, I have tried to figure out the various amounts etc that I used so I can present to you, gentle readers, my recipe!
Selection of mushrooms (I used Portobello, shitake and mixed field mushrooms)
25g dried porcini mushrooms
4 sheets of fresh lasagne pasta
1 shallot, chopped roughly
1 small red onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
150ml white wine
1 tbsp marsala
300ml good chicken stock
100ml double cream
Fresh parsley, washed and chopped
In a bowl pour 200ml or so of boiling water over the dried porcini mushrooms and leave to soak for about 30 minutes.
In a small saucepan add the wine and the chopped shallots and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and reduce the liquid by about half.
Using your hands scoop out the soaked porcini mushrooms and squeeze them dry. Using a very fine sieve, and being careful not to disturb the sediment, pour the soaking liquid into the saucepan with the reduced wine. Continue to reduce this liquid again by about half. Add the chicken stock and yet again boil it down until you are left with about 200ml of sauce. Strain through a fine sieve to remove the shallots (keep them), adjust seasoning, and set to one side.
Clean and then chop the mushrooms into smaller bite sized bits.
Whisk the double cream until it is quite stiff and will easily form soft peaks.
In a large saucepan heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat, throw in chopped onions, and the shallots from the sauce, and garlic and gently saute for about 5 minutes. Add all the mushrooms, 1 tbsp of marsala and a couple of tsp of chopped parsley and give them a quick blast for about 2 minutes or so. Tip into a baking dish and put into a hot oven (200C/400F) for about 8 minutes. The reason I did this was to intensify the flavours a little without letting the mushrooms ‘bleed’ too much.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, drop in the lasagne sheets and cook per instructions but for probably about 5 minutes. Drain and cut each sheet in half across the width so that you are left with two largish squares.
Heat the sauce again to a very gentle bubble and off the heat whisk in the whipped cream. You will need to be quite quick from now on in because the whipped cream creates a sort of foaming effect and so you want to get in on the plate and served before it stops!
Place one square of the pasta on a warmed good-sized shallow dish or plate, spoon a portion of the mushroom mixture in the middle of the square and then lay the other square of cooked pasta on top.
Pour a couple of spoons of the foaming sauce over the top, sprinkle with some chopped parsley and/or chives and some shavings of parmesan and serve straightaway. I happen to have a lovely little bottle of truffle oil that some friends very kindly brought me back from Croatia and I also sprinkled a little of this around each plate.
This dish looks fantastic, tastes very sophisticated and grown up and is actually quite easy to put together.