Friday, February 11, 2011

simple spinach lasagna

Lasagnas freeze perfectly. Since my freezer is stocked with so many chicken and turkey entrees right now, I decided to make a veggie lasagna this week. I was using what I had on hand, so it wasn't a traditional lasagna prep (with ricotta or bechamel), but the result was delicious and if you're a fan of spinach, then this is a simple recipe to add you your repertoire.

Simple Spinach Lasagna
(makes 2 6-serving lasagnas, one for now and one to freeze)

2 lbs frozen spinach
1 brick cream cheese
garlic
basil
salt & pepper, to taste
mozzarella (or your favorite cheese), sliced
oven-ready lasagna sheets
2 jars of your favorite pasta sauce
shredded Parmesan/mozzarella blend (or your favorite shredded cheese)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a Cuisinart (using the metal chopping blade), combine the frozen spinach (no need to thaw it), cream cheese, fresh or dried basil, a few cloves of garlic and a sprinkle of salt & pepper. Pulse until a puree. Set aside. Then, in your two baking dishes, you'll alternate pasta sauce, pasta sheets, the spinach mixture and slices of cheese, ending with pasta sauce and a layer of shredded cheese on top. Wrap one dish tightly for the freezer. Bake the other for 45 minutes, or until pasta sheets are cooked through. (You test this by inserting a butter knife into the center...if is cuts in easily, the lasagna is ready. If not, let it cook for another few minutes.)

The frozen lasagna can either be thawed in the fridge and then baked as above, or you can cook it from frozen. If cooking from frozen, put the baking dish into the oven as it is heating (to avoid shocking the dish with a temp change) and then double the cook time. Check if it's done the same way as above.

I know some of you like pics, so here's the prep in photos:

2 lbs of spinach, 1 block of cream cheese a few cloves of garlic, a handful of basil (or a few teaspoons of dried basil), and a sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper are pulsed until they turn into a puree. I used frozen spinach and did not thaw or drain the spinach, because I wanted that extra moisture in the lasagna to help cook the noodles. This is the crux of the filling, so make sure it has enough basil and garlic for your taste!

I always start with a layer of sauce on the bottom of my baking dish, as it prevents the lasagna from sticking...


Then you'll alternate pasta sheets, spinach filling, slices of cheese and more sauce.

Ending with a layer of pasta sauce and shredded cheese.

This is not the most appetizing "after" photo, as I'd already scooped out our dinner. But, it'll do!

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. My Anchor-brand glass dishes (that I use for make-ahead recipes like this) are 8 x 9.5 inches. The recipe above makes 2 of those dishes at a time + I always end up with more spinach mixture, which I then use in scrambled eggs, etc. Enjoy!! Let me know how you like it!

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