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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Spinach Lasagna for Dummies

Hey, don't be offended by the name of this recipe.  I wasn't quite sure how to make easy lasagna when I first started making it, so this recipe came in handy.  What I like best about it is that you can make a large pan of it, or two small lasagnas which is perfect for our small family.  Eat one, freeze one.

Vegetable Lasagna

When baking lasagna that's been frozen, add 10 minutes to the cooking time.  The uncooked lasagna will keep up to two months in the freezer.  You can make one large lasagna (9 x 13 inch pan) or two smaller (8 x 8 inch pans).

4 cups (32 oz) ricotta cheese
1 package no-boil lasagna noodles
2 large eggs
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 16-oz package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
6 cups store-bought tomato sauce
1 pound fontina or mozzarella cheese, shredded (4 cups)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese, eggs, 1/2 tsp of salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Add spinach and stir well to combine.

2.  Spread a small bit of tomato sauce in the bottom of pan(s).  Arrange a layer of lasagna noodles on top.  Spread some of the ricotta mixture over the noodles, followed some of the remaining sauce.    Arrange a second layer of noodles, ricotta and sauce.  Top with more noodles, remaining sauce and shredded cheese.  If freezing, cover tightly with two layers of tin foil.  Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

3.  Cover with a layer of aluminum foil.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil; continue baking until top is golden brown, about 15 minutes more.  Let cool slightly before serving.

The Verdict:  Someone's Italian grandma would have a heart attack over the store-bought sauce, but otherwise, it's a quick and tasty dinner. 

Speaking of store-bought sauce, obviously the better the sauce, the better the lasagna.  I bought a gigantic bottle of Prego with mushrooms which was pretty good.  I like to buy the really large containers as I have even more extra sauce that I can freeze to use as pizza sauce later on. 

My friend came over for dinner and she and I both happily ate a large serving.  My son is currently going through a noodle-crazy phase, so he enjoyed it and nearly cleaned his plate.  His same-age buddy wasn't as crazy about it, but I also think that's because she knew there was chocolate cake for dessert.  Or maybe it just wasn't her thing. 

Unfortunately, in my rush to feed two hungry toddlers, I wasn't able to take a picture.  It looks like lasagna--imagine that.

If you care to, you can make this full-fledged vegetable lasagna by adding more vegetables to the ricotta mixture.  Cooked shredded carrots, julienned zucchini, finely chopped mushrooms would all be good additions.  Thawed from frozen or cooked fresh would work.


        

3 comments:

  1. Add lasagna noodles to list of ingredients. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. You obviously can't make this one as you aren't a dummy. Good catch...thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Without the noodles? A big glob.

    With the noodles? My new best friend.

    ReplyDelete