Inspiration: I can never seem to figure out how to use up a tub of ricotta. I don’t buy it often, but every now and then a recipe that includes it strikes my fancy, so I throw a tub into the grocery cart and figure that I’ll use it up somehow. Then most of it sits in my fridge and stresses me out. (Yes, the thought of something going bad nearly sends me into a panic.) Since we don’t eat pasta, there just aren’t a whole lot of day-to-day recipes that I’ve found that even make use of ricotta, and one can only eat it mixed into scrambled eggs so many days in a row. The day after I made these portabella pizzas, I saw this recipe for lasagna-stuffed portabellas and knew that since the pizzas were such a success, I’d definitely have to try the lasagnas out. And as luck would have it, that tub of ricotta in the fridge was not getting any younger.
What We Loved: I’m not sure which I loved more, the portabella pizzas or these lasagna-stuffed portabellas. Both were incredible. With these, the intensely rich flavor of the dish as a whole was just outstanding. The ricotta filling was so creamy and had a wonderful basil taste; the tomato sauce was bright and rich; and the melted mozzarella on top was the finishing gooey touch. The mushrooms themselves were so earthy and had an intense browned garlic flavor that we just loved. These really did taste quite a bit like lasagna, which was certainly a welcome thing.
Tips: I think that these would be great with a nice dollop of pesto on top. I almost threw some on this time, but I wanted to try the recipe as it was first. But I do think that it would be a great addition.
2 portabella mushroom caps
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
Handful fresh basil, minced
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1. Drizzle the mushroom caps with olive oil, and sprinkle with 1 clove of the minced garlic. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Place cap-side down in a saute pan, and cook for about 8-10 minutes, until the caps begin to brown and release some moisture.
2. Mix the ricotta with the second clove of minced garlic, the basil, and a couple tablespoons of the mozzarella cheese. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
3. Place the mushroom caps into a baking dish. Top each with a spoonful of marinara sauce, the ricotta filling, and then the rest of the marinara. Top with shredded mozzarella and additional Italian seasoning.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the mushrooms have released their moisture and are cooked through.