Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Spinach Lasagna

I remember growing up thinking that lasagna must be one of the world's most complicated dishes. People were so grateful when a lasagna was brought to a potluck or as a gift that I assumed it was because they didn't want to attempt to make one themselves. As a result, I didn't attempt lasagna for years.

Now, though, I am well over that fear. Lasagna is one of many simple casseroles that are easy to prepare, and lend themselves to endless variation. Here is a particularly easy one to put together.

Spinach Lasagna
Diana Rattray

1 lb no-boil lasagna noodles
36 oz crushed tomatoes (I used 1 batch homemade tomato sauce)
3 cloves garlic
1 T oregano, dried
1 T parsley (she calls for dried; I used fresh)
1 lb ricotta
3 oz Parmesan, grated
8 oz mozzarella, grated
2 eggs
10 oz frozen leaf spinach (I used a 12 oz bag)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Put the frozen spinach in the bowl of a food processor, and process until broken up and nearly flaked. Add the garlic, oregano, parsley, ricotta, eggs, and mozzarella. Process briefly until the mixture is uniform.

Pour about 1/4 of the tomatoes on the bottom of a 9" by 13" baking pan.

Cover the pan with a layer of lasagne noodles (uncooked). Spread 1/3 of the spinach/cheese mixture over the noodles. Repeat two more times with tomatoes, noodles, and spinach/cheese mixture, ending with a layer of plain noodles on the top.

Pour the remainder of the tomatoes on top of the noodles. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil, and bake for an additional 15 minutes. If any of the noodles have not softened after the first hour, carefully tuck them under the sauce to be sure that they will soften during the final baking period. Let the lasagne sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

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