Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Spinach Lasagna

Yum! This lasagna is my ideal comfort food. I found the recipe in a Fine Cooking magazine. One of my favorite things about Fine Cooking is that it is very artisanal; each issue teaches readers how to make fantastic food completely from scratch. This makes it even easier for me to play with ingredients since I have so many more chances to do so!

Greg actually helped make this with me this past weekend, it was a great date night! Because he did half the work, we did not vary from the recipe much. The main thing we did was to NOT cover the top of the dish in butter, and instead of making a tomato sauce from scratch, we used the jar of marinara we had in the fridge. Other than that, we replaced the whole milk/cream products with low fat and skim. We always do this and we've never had a problem with a sauce or filling not having the right consistency or flavor.

This recipe is so good I'm actually a little sad that it's almost getting to hot outside to make it. This is a great cool weather dinner. It also re-heats really well, and the flavors become more bold the next day.


1 1/2 lb (3C) ricotta
2 10 oz. frozen spinach
1/4C shortening, melted
1/2 C yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1/2 C grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
dash of nutmeg

Cream Sauce:
3 tbs butter
3 tbs flour
1 3/4 C skim milk
1/4 C parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
dash of nutmeg
1/2 tsp basil

-Cook 3/4 lb. noodles as directed, set aside

-Melt butter over medium low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes. Slowly add in the milk and bring to a simmer, while whisking. Slowing add in the cheese, continue whisking. Reduce heat and whisk often to reduce the sauce. If the consistency is too watery, increase the temp. briefly while whisking, as not to burn the sauce. Once it is to a gravy like consistency, remove from heat and stir in the basil, salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.

- Thaw the spinach, pat dry if needed.

-Melt Butter in a large skillet, add onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add spinach and toss to coat, transfer to a bowl and cool to room temp (faster if you put it in the freezer for a bit). Once cooled, mix the spinach, ricotta, parmigiano, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Set aside.

-In a greased 9x13, put a thin layer of marinara sauce. Then cover with a layer of noodles. Spread on 1/3 each of the spinach mix, marinara, cream sauce, and noodles. Repeat. Cover last layer of noodles with a dusting of parmigiano-reggiano. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.