Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spinach Mushroom Lasagne

"If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry?"....Author Unknown

I love to make lasagne, and while it's not hard and I really don't think you can mess it up (unless you burn it), it can be a laborious task, especially if you are using regular lasagne noodles that you have to worry about getting out of the water and straightened, so they don't bend and stick to themselves. That's the reason I've switched to the no-boil type of noodles...very easy to use and just as tasty. But that doesn't mean I make the recipe any more than I use to... Before I continue, let me just say, if you don't like the vegetable ingredients, substitute to whatever you like. You really can't mess this up.


1 package no-boil lasagne noodles
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
4 cups (firmly packed) fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
4 cups tomato sauce or your favorite pasta sauce
3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped (if using dried, remember that you use 1/3 amt of dried herbs, so 1 tbsp dried)
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped (3/4 tspn dried)
salt & pepper to taste (I personally don't salt many recipes because there is enough salt found in things like cheese)
1 four oz can of sliced black olives (or about 1/2 cup)
2 cups Ricotta cheese (I use the low-fat variety)
2 eggs1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (1 tbsp dried flakes)
4 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (using fresh is so much nicer than that powered stuff...ick!)

In a large skillet on medium heat, saute onions, garlic and mushrooms in the olive oil until veggies are soft, but not brown. Add chopped spinach, lower heat, stirring occasionally and saute for about 5 minutes, or until all of the spinach absorbs liquid from the pan and gets soft (almost wilted looking.) Add 3 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce (setting aside 1/2 cup of sauce), to the veggie mixture. Add the basil, oregano, pepper and black olives. Simmer, covered, on LOW heat for about 10-15 minutes.

In the meantime, beat the eggs and combine with the ricotta cheese, TWO of the cups of mozzarella cheese and the parsley. Set aside the other two cups of mozzarella cheese.

In a 13x9x2 inch baking pan, spread the 1/2 cup set aside tomato sauce, evenly on the bottom. Layer in the following manner, layering noodles overlapping so there are no gaps in the noodles:

If making two layers -

Noodles, 1/2 ricotta mixture, 1/2 veggie sauce mixture, 1/2 mozzarella cheeseNoodles, 1/2 ricotta mixture, 1/2 veggie sauce mixture, 1/2 mozzarella cheese, sprinkle with parmesan cheese

If making three layers -

Noodles, 1/3 ricotta mixture, 1/3 veggie sauce mixture, 1/3 mozzarella cheeseNoodles, 1/3 ricotta mixture, 1/3 veggie sauce mixture, 1/3 mozzarella cheeseNoodles, 1/3 ricotta mixture, 1/3 veggie sauce mixture, 1/3 mozzarella cheese, sprinkle with parmesan cheese

As a side note, using the no-boil noodles, because the brand I use is a flatter noodle, I can make three layers, but using the traditional noodles, I only get 2 layers.
Depending on what noodles you are using, follow the directions for your noodles to determine baking time. With traditional noodles, since you already cooked them, you should only need to bake the lasagne for 30 -40 minutes at 375°F. With the no-boil noodles, you should bake it for 50-60 minutes at 375° F.

So here is a finished lasagne.

Serve with a nice crisp green salad and some garlic bread. Mangia!!

Well, I never claimed to be a food photographer and my guess is that a lot of the really yummy looking recipes you see in food magazines are either plastic, dyed or inedible. You can't see the layers very well, but trust me, all three were there and they were yummy....if I do say so myself.

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