Roasted Mushroom and Swiss Chard Lasagna
FOR THE MUSHROOMS
1 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, chanterelle, portobello and shiitake
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine salt, or more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
FOR THE CHARD
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced paper-thin
1 pound Swiss chard, well washed and trimmed of tough stems, and sliced crosswise into ribbons
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE
1 clove garlic, lightly crushed
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Two 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes, with their juices
5 large fresh basil leaves
FOR THE LASAGNA
1 pound Fresh Egg Pasta for Lasagna (see related recipe)
One 8-ounce ball whole-milk mozzarella, cut into small cubes
2 cups well-drained fresh, whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
4 ounces Italian fontina cheese, shredded
Extra-virgin olive oil, for the baking dish
Salt, for the pasta cooking water
For the mushrooms: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the mushrooms with the oil in a large bowl, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread them out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast (middle rack) for 15 minutes, then toss with a spatula. Roast for 10 minutes more or until they are tender and browned. Transfer the mushrooms to the bowl and toss with the minced parsley. Store, covered, in the refrigerator, until you are ready to assemble the lasagna.
For the chard: Heat the oil and garlic in a large, high-sided skillet set on medium-low heat. Cook 3 minutes, until the garlic is softened and fragrant but not browned. Add the chard by the handful, using tongs to coat it with the oil. Cover and cook, stirring from time to time, for 15 minutes, or until the greens are wilted. Uncover and season with the salt. Cook 5 minutes more, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the greens to a bowl to cool. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the lasagna.
For the tomato sauce: Warm the garlic in the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Press down on the garlic with a wooden spoon or spatula to release the garlic flavor. Cook for 2 minutes, until it sizzles, but don’t let it brown. Carefully pour in the tomatoes and their juice (the oil will spatter). Season with 1 teaspoon salt and raise the heat to medium-high. Bring the sauce to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook gently, stirring now and again, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the oil is pooling on the surface.
Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. If not using right away, transfer the sauce to a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months. Reheat the sauce to a simmer before assembling the lasagna.
For the lasagna: Spread a clean tablecloth on a table or clean flat surface near the stove. Have ready the uncooked pasta, tomato sauce, chard, mushrooms and cheeses.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch lasagna or baking dish (or 2 smaller baking dishes) with the olive oil.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat and salt generously (as in, 3 or 4 pinches of salt). Set a large bowl of ice water near the stove for briefly immersing the parboiled lasagna noodles.
Carefully drop in 4 or 5 lasagna noodles at a time, taking care not to crowd the pot. Boil for about 1 minute; the noodles cook quickly and should be slightly underdone. Use a large skimmer to transfer them to the ice-water bath. Swish them around, then use the skimmer to transfer them to the tablecloth, where you will spread them out flat.
To assemble the lasagna, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange a single layer of lasagna noodles over the sauce. Spread half the chard over the noodles and dot with half the mozzarella and 1/2 cup ricotta. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Make a second layer of sauce and noodles. Spread half the roasted mushrooms over the pasta, then dot with 1/2 cup ricotta and sprinkle with half the Fontina and 1 tablespoon Parm.
Make a third layer of sauce and noodles. Spread the remaining greens over the pasta and dot with the remaining mozzarella and 1/2 cup of the ricotta. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parm. Cover with a fourth layer of sauce and noodles. Then spread the remaining mushrooms on top and dot with the rest of the ricotta. Top with the remaining Fontina and 1 tablespoon Parm.
Make one more layer of sauce and noodles. Spread a final layer of sauce over them and sprinkle the remaining Parm on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake (middle rack) for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 minutes more, until it is bubbling inside and browned on top. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.