Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Strong To The Finish

Popeye would be proud. Last night I made Spinach Lasagna. Josh has been a fan of this recipe for a while. I had forgotten how easy it actually is, especially when I put the spinach to drain in the fridge overnight. I rig a little set up with a bowl, a sifter, some plastic wrap, and another bowl and then by the time I get home from work all it needs is a little extra pressing and I'm rid of most of the excess moisture. This is also a great go-to recipe when you're entertaining vegetarians for dinner and don't have a clue what to serve. Easy and basic enough that it should appeal to everyone at the table and it can be assembled ahead of time and popped in the oven at the right moment. This is a Martha Stewart recipe and one of the first things I made when we started trying to eat healthier. Martha calls it Vegetable Lasagna, but considering the only vegetable in it is the spinach I think that name is a little misleading. Oh, and I'm fully aware my picture probably isn't all that appetizing, but have you ever tried to take a fabulous picture of lasagna? Even Martha's picture isn't all that pretty to me.

Spinach Lasagna
Recipe from Martha Stewart; Serves 8
4 cups (32 oz.) whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
Salt and fresh ground pepper
2 10 oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess moisture
6 cups store-bought or homemade tomato sauce
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 lb. (4 cups) fontina cheese, shredded

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese, eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add spinach, and stir well to combine.
  • Spread a small bit of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish or dishes. Arrange a layer of lasagna noodles on top. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles, followed by 1/3 of the remaining sauce; sprinkle with 1/3 of the grated cheese. Repeat to make two more layers, ending with cheese. If freezing, cover tightly with plastic wrap. Before baking, defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil; continue baking until top is golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Let cool slightly before serving.
My notes: I typically halve this recipe. Their portion sizes are kind of large, we usually get more than 4 servings out of one 8" x 8" pan, so a 9" x 13" is really just too much for the two of us. I use part-skim ricotta instead of whole, and buy the 15 oz. container when halving the recipe. That's technically an ounce short of half, but are we going to quibble over tiny details? I almost always use Hunt's canned tomato sauce because it's often on sale for $1. I also use shredded mozzarella cheese instead of fontina. It's easier to find and I in fact often need it for making pizza so it's just easier to buy one cheese instead of two. On the top layer I usually sprinkle some grated parmesan along with the mozzarella cause the hubby loves his parm.

Oh, and a note on draining my spinach. I take one bowl, and put my fine-mesh sifter over it. My sifter has little pegs to help it sit atop a bowl, which is nifty. Put the spinach in the sifter, put a layer of plastic wrap over it, and then put a bowl on top to help press down the spinach. Then I just leave it in the fridge overnight until I get home from work and let gravity do most of the work for me. I'm sure I'm not the first person to do this, but it's a big part of making this recipe a quick one, so I thought I'd explain it.

3 comments:

Jenny said...

This recipe looks good! I make spinach lasagna but it's an allrecipes version. I think I want to try it with fontina and ricotta now instead of mozz. and cottage cheese.

erika of Sweet Pea Blog said...

I am always searching for an easy lasagna recipe - as it is something I love to make & eat, but that can talk a lot of preparation time. Plus I think the spinach will make for a light lasagna than minced beef.
many thanks
Erika www.asweetpea.wordpress.com

Christie said...

I just made this last night-- thanks for the idea. It was delicious. Aren't the no-boil noodles the best?

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