Friday, February 12, 2010

Spinach Lasagna

Lasagna is my favorite thing to make. I always make the traditional meat, ricotta, tomato sauce. I found this one on another blogger's website and the pictures just looked amazing! My pictures aren't the best, but I am working with a point-and-shoot. I do see a dslr in my near future though.

Anyways, this lasagna was FULL of ricotta and other cheeses. I usually love cheese but this was cheese-overload. I would have happily halved the recipe and baked in a smaller 8x8 pan. Based on most recipes with ricotta and my experiences with Lasagna, I used only 2/3 of what the original called for. It still was too much. The parmesan cheese, however brought a wonderful taste to the palate. I might use more of that next time. My husband was not fond of this at all! Most people say they are a 'meat and potatoes' person. Well, he is just a meat person. He loves his meat. Me? My cholesterol is over 300 and I need to eat better! It's a really good thing I don't like red meat at all anyways.

If you do like lasagna, spinach and ricotta then you will love this one!! I have adapted the recipe below to what I made. I will post another adaptation as I begin to make it suitable to what my carnivorous husband will eat.

Spinach Lasagna

Bechamel Sauce:
6 tbsp butter
4 cups warm milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch of nutmeg

In large saucepan on medium heat melt butter. Add the milk and flour and whisk together. Add seasonings and mix well. Reduce heat a little to make sure sauce does not boil! Cook for about 10 minutes until thickened. Place in heat-proof bowl (I placed in a mixing bowl), cover and put into the freezer* for later.

*If you make this sauce well ahead of time you may just place it in the refrigerator instead.

8 ounces lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 recipe Bechamel sauce (above)
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained (10 oz)
20 ounces ricotta cheese
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese, for topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large stock pot boil water and cook lasagna noodles according to directions on package. Meanwhile, in medium mixing bowl combine ricotta, spinach, 1/2 cup parmesan, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Once noodles are cooked and drained, line bottom of greased 9x13 pan with noodles. Then add a layer of ricotta mixture, half of the mozzarella, 1/3 of the Bechamel sauce. Repeat layer. Cover with nooles again and top with remaining Bechamel sauce and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and cook an additional 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes then serve.

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