Okay: the beginning of this week kinda caught me off guard, so I apologize if anyone was waiting with baited breath for a post on Monday. I failed miserably.
But, I think things have slowed down a little, at least enough for me to download some pictures and sit down for a minute.
Last night (well, yesterday morning, and again last night) we made my spinach lasagna. It is so good, and one of the few recipes I invented entirely myself. Most of my recipes start off as someone else’s, and then I go and change them so much that they are unrecognizable by the time they get to you.
This one was birthed from my desperation to have lasagna that didn’t involve tomatoes in any way. If I haven’t said it before, tomatoes are yucky.
I’m going to split this recipe into two parts: the sauce, and the rest of the lasagna. Mostly because the alfredo sauce can be used for any pasta dish you like. It’s fantastic.
- 5 Tbsp. butter
- 1/3 C. flour
- 4 C. milk
- 1/2 C. parmesan cheese (optional)
Note: This is the amount for the lasagna. If you find you need less (or more for that matter) the general rule of thumb is: 1 Tbsp. more of butter and flour than the amount of milk you have ( example: 3 C. milk gets 4Tbsp. butter and 4 Tbsp. flour). I also always add parmesan if I’m using this as a stand-alone sauce, but don’t always add it for the lasagna (honestly, sometimes I forget). You will miss it in a pasta sauce, but you won’t notice it’s gone in the lasagna.
Step 1: melt butter in a medium saucepan. Once melted whisk in flour.
Step 2: remove from heat and slowly add milk, whisking thoroughly to avoid lumps. Add salt and pepper to taste. (add parmesan here and whisk in if desired.)
Step 3: bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and set aside once sauce starts to thicken.
That’s it! Put it aside until you need it for the lasagna, or ladle over any pasta you like!
- 1 Lb. mushrooms, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into large chunks
- 1 container ricotta cheese
- 4 C. shredded mozzarella
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 egg
- 1 Lb. spinach, washed and de-stemmed
- 1 package no-boil lasagna
Step 1: heat some olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Mince the garlic and add it to the oil.
Step 2: Cut the red bell pepper into large chunks. Throw those into the pan also.
Step 3: wash and de-stem the spinach. You can use bagged spinach so you don’t have to do all this, but around here bunch spinach is so much cheaper than pre-bagged. I will do a lot to save a buck.
Step 4: Once the bell peppers have brightened up a bit, add the spinach to the skillet. Just throw it on top. Cover with a lid and let the spinach wilt.
Step 5: While the spinach is wilting, slice the mushrooms. I found this in my mushrooms:
It’s a mushroom siamese twin! Run for your lives! Or slice it up with the rest of the mushrooms…
Step 6: Check the spinach. If it hasn’t wilted yet, stir it around a bit and re-cover. If it is wilted a bit, but not completely, remove from the heat and uncover.
Step 7: In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese and egg. Whisk together until completely combined.
Step 8: add the spinach mixture to the ricotta-egg mixture in the bowl. Stir it around until it’s coated.
Okay, this is the confusing part. For some reason, if I just read the steps for layering the lasagna, I get confused and do it wrong. I tried to help out by taking pictures of each layer as I went.
Step 9: In a lasagna pan, coat the bottom with a little alfredo sauce. Add a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles.
Then add 1/2 the spinach mixture.
Then add a layer of mushroom slices.
Sprinkle on some mozzarella.
Then repeat, this time starting with lasagna, then sauce, then the other 1/2 spinach mixture, mushrooms, and cheese. Add a last layer of noodles and the rest of the sauce, then top with the remaining mozzarella. It will look like this when you’re done:
Step 10: cover with foil. You can either throw it in the fridge until you’re ready for it, or put it (covered) into a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. Once it’s cooked, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes to brown the top.
Serve hot and delicious!