Mushroom, Spinach and Polenta Lasagne

My grandmother told me off for talking about polenta like someone would, Fellini, as this charming peasant food was actual peasant food for her in the old country while she cooked for her two brothers as a girl. So this is not my grandmother’s recipe but was modified from Loukie Werle’s Splendido which I hadn’t looked at for a while.

This took about 2 hours plus all up so no not food for busy people but I had some time so why not?

A few parts:

-Polenta cooked (if you don’t know how, go and find out now and look up bechamel sauce while you’re at it) and spread out to a centimetre depth and left to cool in a shallow pan.

-Make some bechamel sauce.

-Swiss brown mushrooms cooked with some sauteed onion and garlic with some chopped FL parsley added at the end.

-Chopped spinach with some pine nuts goldened in olive oil for a bit of crunchy texture. Although my lazy spinach washing had already done the crunchy bit for me.

In a dish a layer of the cooled polenta, followed by a layer of the mushrooms , then half the white sauce, then another layer of polenta, then the spinach, then the bechamel sauce, then some Parmesan.

Cook covered in foil for 40 minutes at 180C then take off the foil and brown the top for 10.

That was it. It doesn’t have the neat layered look of the pasta lasagne, sort of spilling out into a kind of stew. Actually it reminded me of bread and butter pudding.

A nice enough substitute for time-rich people with a wheat allergy who hanker for lasagne.