8 large flat Portobello or white cap mushrooms, cleaned with a damp cloth
plain flour, for dusting
3 x eggs, beaten
olive or vegetable oil for shallow frying
for the tomato & mushroom sauce :
4 x tablespoons olive oil
1 x garlic clove, crushed, but left whole
1 x onion, finely chopped
½ x leek, finely chopped
2 x large white cap mushrooms, cut into thin strips
2 x tablespoons of water
10 x ripe cherry tomatoes, quartered
handful of parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 x sprig of rosemary needles, finely chopped
salt & pepper
for the cheese sauce :
25 gr butter
1 x tablespoon plain flour
1 x litre milk
12 x tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper
From Gennaro: This dish is prepared in a very similar way to lasagne, without the pasta, and the classic parmigiana dish, which is traditionally made with aubergines. It takes a little organisation, but makes a substantial and delicious vegetarian main course. Instead of the usual tomato sauce, I have made a drier sauce using mushrooms and cherry tomatoes as the cheese sauce is already runny.
First make the tomato and mushroom sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the garlic and cook gently until it begins to colour. Remove and discard the garlic, then add the onions and leeks to the pan and saute’ until soft. Then add the mushroom strips, saute for a minute, then add the water, tomatoes, parsley and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook for a 5 minutes until it resembles a sauce. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Then make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour with a small whisk to avoid lumps. Stir in the milk and parmesan, whisking all the time and simmer gently until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cut off and discard the black gills from the mushrooms, then slice each mushroom horizontally into 2 or 3 thick slices. Lightly wet the mushroom slices in a little water, dust them in flour, then coat with beaten egg. In a large pan, heat some oil to a depth of about 1 cm, add the mushroom slices and fry until golden. Drain on kitchen paper.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Pour a layer of tomato & mushroom sauce on the bottom of an ovenproof dish, then top with a layer of mushroom slices slightly overlapping, followed by a thin layer of cheese sauce, then the tomato and mushroom sauce. Continue to do this until you have used up all the ingredients finishing off with a layer of cheese sauce. Cover with aluminium foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the aluminium foil and bake uncovered for 5 minutes until golden-brown. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
© Gennaro Contaldo