Spicy mushroom lasagne – Ottolenghi


Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Serves: Serves 6 as a main.

Another recipe from my favorite chef Yotam Ottolenghi made with Ixta Belfrage and from their book « Flavour ». A book entirely devoted to vegetarian cuisine. this exceptional chef has always known how to enhance vegetables by combining them with spices and using different cooking techniques.

Today I’m sharing with you his favorite recipe: spicy mushroom lasagne which is just crazy delicious. I’m sure you’ll like it whether you are vegetarian or not.

In this recipe, Ottolenghi uses very simple ingredients but a cooking technique that amplifies the aroma and taste of the mushrooms. He decides to roast chestnut mushrooms and oyster mushrooms, then adds wild mushrooms and porcini mushrooms, which gives an earthy, very complex and exceptionally delicious flavour to the ragù.

Preparing this spicy mushroom lasagne takes a little time, I admit, but believe me, it’s really worth it.

If you are a mushrooms lover like me, I recommend his recipe « Hummus with confit garlic and grilled mushrooms », it was just amazing.

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Spicy mushroom lasagne - Ottolenghi

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Total time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Serves: Serves 6 as a main.

Ingredients :

  • 750 g chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • 500 g oyster mushrooms
  • 135 ml olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 60 g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 30 g dried wild mushrooms
  • 2 dried red chillies, roughly chopped (deseeded for less heat)
  • 500 ml hot vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and quartered (about 90g)
  • 2-3 plum tomatoes, quartered (200g)
  • 75 g tomato paste
  • 130 ml double cream
  • 60 g Pecorino Romano, finely grated
  • 5 g basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 10 g parsley leaves , finely chopped, plus an extra tsp to serve
  • 250 g dried lasagne sheets, (about 14 sheets)
  • Salt and black pepper

Method :

  • 1)

    Preheat the oven to 230°C fan.

  • 2)

    Put the chestnut and oyster mushrooms into the large bowl of a food processor in three or four batches and pulse each batch until finely chopped (or finely chop everything by hand). Don’t clean the food processor you’ll still need it.

    Toss the chopped mushrooms in a large bowl with 3 tablespoons of oil and 1 teaspoon of salt and spread out on a large, 40cm × 35cm parchment-lined, rimmed baking tray.

    Bake for 30 minutes near the top of the oven, stirring three times throughout, until the mushrooms are golden-brown; they will have reduced in volume significantly.

    Set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C fan.

  • 3)

    Meanwhile, combine the dried mushrooms, chillies and hot stock in a large bowl and set aside to soak for half an hour. Strain the liquid into another bowl, squeezing as much liquid from the mushrooms as possible to get about 340ml: if you have any less, top up with water.

    Very roughly chop the rehydrated mushrooms (you want some chunks) and finely chop the chillies. Set the stock and mushrooms aside separately.

  • 4)

    Now let’s make the sauce.

    Put the onion, garlic and carrot into the same food processor and pulse until finely chopped (or finely chop everything by hand).

    Heat 60ml of oil in a large sauté pan or pot on a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion mixture and fry for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden.

    Pulse the tomatoes in the food processor until finely chopped (or finely chop by hand), then add to the pan along with the tomato paste, 1½ teaspoons of salt and 1¾ teaspoons of freshly cracked black pepper. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Add the rehydrated mushrooms and chillies and the roasted mushrooms and cook for 9 minutes, resisting the urge to stir: you want the mushrooms to be slightly crisp and browned on the bottom.

    Stir in the reserved stock and 800ml of water and, once simmering, reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until you get the consistency of a ragù. Stir in 100ml of the cream and simmer for another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.

  • 5)

    Combine both cheeses and both herbs in a small bowl.

  • 6)

    To assemble the lasagne, spread one-fifth of the sauce in the bottom of a round 28cm baking dish (or a 30cm x 20cm rectangular dish), then top with a fifth of the cheese mixture, followed by a layer of lasagne sheets, broken to fit where necessary.

    Repeat these layers three more times in that order, and finish with a final layer of sauce and cheese: that’s five layers of sauce and cheese and four layers of pasta.

    Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of cream and 1 tablespoon of oil, then cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, increase the temperature to 220°C fan and bake for another 12 minutes, turning the dish round halfway. Turn the oven to the grill setting and grill for a final 2 minutes, until the edges are brown and crisp.

  • 7)

    Set aside to cool for 5 or so minutes, then drizzle over the remaining tablespoon of cream and oil. Sprinkle over the remaining parsley, finish with a good grind of pepper and serve.

    Enjoy !!

Tricks & Tips :

Reduce the black pepper and discard the chilli for a child friendly version. You can also assemble the lasagne, refrigerate it and then bake it the next day.

The ragù can easily be made without cream for a vegan version.


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