Antonio Carluccio's Sardinian bread lasagne
Ingredients to serve 8
Thursday 11 April 2013
2 tablespoons olive oil
500g fresh porcini (ceps), sliced, or 500g button mushrooms, plus 25g dried porcini (ceps), soaked for 30 minutes, then drained and finely sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
500ml vegetable or chicken stock, or use a stock cube and boiling water
2 big discs pane carasau (see below)
Unsalted butter, for greasing
150g fontina cheese, or other melting cheese such as taleggio
50g parmesan, freshly grated
For the sauce
75g unsalted butter
100g plain flour
1 litre full-fat milk
A pinch of nutmeg
A lasagne is a baked dish, traditional served in Italy as part of a celebratory meal. It is usually made with sheets of pasta, but here I have used the crisp flatbread of Sardinia, known as pane carasau or carta di musica ("music sheet", so called because the bread is so thin you could read a sheet of music through it). So, this is not a traditional recipe but rather an exploration of an old idea.
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the mushrooms and fry for about 3 minutes, sprinkling with a little salt. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
Put the stock into a flat container or oven tray large enough to fit the pane carasau. Soak each disc of the crisp bread carefully in the stock for about 15 seconds on each side. Set the bread aside and pour the stock out of the tray (this can be used for a soup or another sauce). Wash, dry and then grease the tray lightly, before laying a piece of soaked pane carasau on its base.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, then add the milk gradually, stirring all the time, until smooth. Add the nutmeg, season to taste and set aside.
Spread half of the sauce over the first layer of soaked bread in the oven tray. Arrange the mushrooms evenly all over, reserving a few. Sprinkle the mushrooms with the grated fontina, and place the second piece of soaked bread on top of this. Pour over the remaining sauce, scatter over the remaining mushroom slices, sprinkle generously with pepper, and then sprinkle over the parmesan. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Cut into wedges to serve.
Taken from 'Two Greedy Italians' by Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo (Quadrille Publishing, £14.99).
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