Monday, January 24, 2011

Mushroom Lasagna

I said to Susan, "Who makes mushroom lasagna on a Monday."

I do!

Quoting Florence Fabricant (New York Times, January 17, 2011; "Pairings"):

"Like pinot noir, mushrooms are Oregon’s pride, another gift of terroir. The complex flavors in those wines and their bright acidity make them a dandy foil for a sumptuous lasagna. I used an assortment, wild chanterelles if available, cultivated but exotic customers like oyster if possible. Some chestnuts intensify the earthy notes. There is even a tempting option to slip in a whisper of black truffle."

Mushroom Lasagna. Ready to go into the oven.

Time: 1 hour 45 minutes


1/4 pound pancetta, sliced thin and slivered
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, slivered
1 pound mixed mushrooms, sliced (shiitake, cremini, oyster, chanterelle, porcini, etc.)
12 chestnuts, roasted, peeled and quartered (fresh, jarred or frozen)
12 sage leaves, slivered
Salt and pepper
2 1/4 cups milk
6 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter or black truffle butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 pound pasta for lasagna, preferably fresh, parboiled if dry
3 ounces grana padano, grated.


1. Cook the pancetta in a large skillet over medium-low heat, stirring, until the fat starts to render. Increase the heat and cook a few minutes more, until the pancetta barely begins to brown and crisp. Transfer it to a dish. Add the oil to the pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened. Stir in the mushrooms and sauté over medium heat until they wilt. Stir in the chestnuts and sage. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Scald the milk. Melt 6 tablespoons butter or truffle butter on low heat in another saucepan. Whisk the flour into the melted butter. Cook briefly, then gradually whisk in the warm milk. Continue whisking and cooking until the sauce is thick and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with the remaining butter. Cover the bottom of the dish with a film of the sauce, then cover it with a layer of pasta. Spread with half the mushrooms, scatter half the pancetta on top and sprinkle with a third of the cheese. Spread a third of the sauce on the cheese. Repeat the layers. Cover with the remaining pasta, spread with the remaining sauce and scatter the rest of the cheese on top.
4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.
Yield: About 8 servings as a first course, 4 to 6 as a main course.

Let's eat!
 Have you ever made Mushroom Lasagna?
I would love to hear from you!

If you want distinctive nature, documentary or portrait photography--photography with soul that inspires you to live a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I have been making this soup ever since 2002 when it was the Bon Appetit cover story.

I have made it for family. I have made it for friends. I have made it for church luncheons. It has always been a big hit!

Photo by Bruce Barone.


2 tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces fully cooked smoked kielbasa sausage, thinly sliced (I used turkey)
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh fennel bulb
4 garlic gloves, minced
1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
10 cups canned low-salt chicken broth (I used my homemade stock.)
4 cups chopped kale (I used frozen)
1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
1 9-ounce package cheese tortellini


Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium high heat. Add next 6 ingredients and saute until vegetables are soft and kielbasa is brown, about 12 minutes. Add broth and bring to boil. Stir in kale and cannellini. Reduce heat to low and simmer until kale is wilted, about 4 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly; cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Add tortellini to soup. Simmer until pasta is just tender but still firm to bite, about 5 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls. Serve with Asiago cheese.
Veggie? Leave out kielbasa. Change stock.
Can also substitute small ravioli for tortellini.

Serve with some No-knead Rye Bread. You'll need to start this the day before. Here I am making my loft! The folding of the dough before the 2 hour rise (see recipe).

Self Portrait.

Bon Appetit!

Let me know if you make the soup or the no-knead bread.
I would love to hear from you!

If you want distinctive nature, documentary or portrait photography--photography with soul that inspires you to live a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Turmeric Turkey Burger


  1. 1 pound ground turkey
  2. 4 small green onions, thinly sliced
  3. 1/2 red pepper, finely diced
  4. 1 heaping teaspoon turmeric
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  6. 1 teaspoon lemon zest + a squeeze of juice
  7. 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  8. salt & pepper to taste


  1. Mix 1--8 together. Form into 6 burgers. Grill 6 minutes per side or cook in frying pan over medium heat.