Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Nani's Spinach Lasagna
When visiting Chris's grandparents in France, back when I was still pregnant with Jace, one thing I made sure to do was to get some of Chris's Nani's recipe's from her old cookbooks. One of the recipe's I stumbled across was this one. Not only is this a simple recipe that she used to always make for her family, but if you like spinach, the fresh, crisp flavor of spinach shines in this dish. Of coarse I made a few adjustments and if you know exactly what you like, hopefully you will too. If you love Italian and spinach, you'll love this dish!
Nani's Spinach Lasagna
-16 oz. frozen chopped spinach (thawed and thoroughly drained)
-3/4 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
-1 tsp. dried oregano
-1/4 grated Parmesan
-1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella (divided)
-16 oz. small curd cottage or ricotta cheese (I used cottage)
-1 lb. lasagna noodles
-1 3/4 cups homemade marinara sauce (or you could use your favorite spaghetti sauce; I like to make my own in big batches and jar it for future use.)
In a large bowl combine spinach, 1 cup of Mozzarella, Parmesan, cottage cheese, egg, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well. (The mixture should be thick. If for any reason it's runny, you probably just didn't drain the spinach well enough. I like to place my thawed spinach into a hand towel and squeeze out the access moisture that way. It works great!)
In a large stock pot, bring salted water to a boil and add lasagna noodles. Cook to al dente or just under done and drain pasta into a colander.
In a 9x9 glass Pyrex dish, begin layering sauce, then noodles, then spinach and cheese mixture. Continue layering in this order until pan is full. (I like to make my sauce and spinach layers thin, that way I can have more layers. Seems the more layers of noodles I have, the sturdier my lasagna holds up when serving.) Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 15 minutes or until melty and bubbly. Let lasagna rest for 20 minutes and serve. (Letting the lasanga rest is mostly a cosmetic step. Not only does it allow the cooking process to continue, but it ensures that when you serve the lasagna, it won't fall apart into a sloppy mess - in other words, it makes it look pretty =) In the words of Chris's Nani, "Bon Appetit!"
Serves 4 as an entree