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White Lasagna with Mushrooms and Prosciutto

Earthy mushrooms and bits of salty ham stud this silky baked pasta dish with bursts of flavor. If you can’t find thin, straight-edged no-boil lasagna sheets at your market, try a shop that specializes in Italian foods. You don’t want ruffled edges on this rustic dish.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing 
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg 
  • 4 cups milk 
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth 
  • 1/2 cup Marsala 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded fontina cheese 
  • Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste 
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 1 small leek, white and light green portions, thinly sliced 
  • 3/4 lb. white mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced 
  • 1/2 lb. thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped 
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil 
  • 12 sheets no-boil lasagna, each about 7 by 3 1/2 inches  
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese  

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-by-11-inch baking dish.

In a large saucepan medium-low heat, melt the 8 Tbs. (1 stick) butter. Stir in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for about 3 minutes. Whisk in the nutmeg. Increase the heat to medium-high and gradually whisk in the milk and stock. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue whisking until thickened and smooth, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool, stirring occasionally, until warm. Stir in the Marsala, eggs and 1 cup of the fontina until the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth. Season with salt and white pepper. Set aside.

In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the leek and sauté until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Warm the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil in the pan. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the prosciutto and basil and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Transfer to the bowl with the leek.

Spread about 1 1/2 cups of the cheese sauce evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spoon about one-third of the mushroom mixture evenly over the sauce, then arrange 4 of the lasagna sheets over the top. Repeat these layers twice. Spread the remaining sauce over the top layer, then sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup fontina and the Parmigiano-Reggiano evenly over the top.

Transfer to the oven and bake until the top is golden and the juices are bubbling, about 45 minutes. Let the lasagna cool for 15 to 30 minutes, cut into squares and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Save time: You can use dried lasagna noodles in this recipe (follow the packaging instructions to precook), but no-boil noodles are the busy cook’s solution to lasagna for dinner. They cut down on the time and the space you need to prepare the dish (no need to lay the precooked noodles on a flat surface before layering), and you won’t be able to tell the difference in taste or texture.

Make ahead: You can assemble the lasagna, cover it tightly and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 day, or double-wrap it and put it in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Good Food to Share, by Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan (Weldon Owen, Inc., 2010).