Rebecca has been begging me for weeks to make lasagna, ever since we ate some at the volunteer dinner our church hosts for all the youth every spring. That lasagna was so good, I ate the last bit of Rebecca's portion, and half of Christina's, rejoicing with every bite, because I really don't make it but once or twice a year. The kids like pasta, but like their Dad, they will only eat certain kinds (penne, linguini, etc). I could eat it every day...but it would affect my waistline...big time.
I told Rebecca we'd make lasagna over Spring Break when we'd have time...and not rush some good mommy-daughter time in the kitchen. I so wish we could put some Italian sausage in it...but it's Lent, so we are going with spinach and finely chopped mushrooms instead. Hopefully the kids won't see 'em! But I'm thinking about cooking up some sausage for the next day and adding it to any leftover sauce...then we could serve it over the top. Yum!
You can use fresh spinach if you'd like...I chose frozen to save the blanching step. And I used part skim ricotta...fat free anything never tastes quite right to me. And if you want to make homemade pasta sauce...go right ahead. I just used what was on special at the store this week, but do yourself a favor and don't buy the cheap stuff. I like Barilla or Classico, but you use your favorite brand.
20 lasagna noodles (1 box)
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces finely chopped fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 cups fresh spinach, blanched and drained well
OR 1, (10 ounce boxes frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed very dry)
3 cups part skim ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
3-4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3 cups homemade or jarred tomato pasta sauce
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* A note of interest before we proceed with this recipe, which was brought to my attention today. Canon law 1251 states says abstaining from meat on Fridays of Lent is not required if it falls on a Solemnity. Since tomorrow is the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, you are not bound to abstain from meat. I have chosen to stick with my original plan of making meatless lasagna, but I imagine the addition of some browned, sweet/spicy Italian sausage to the tomato pasta sauce would be delicious. Here's a good article if you are interested in learning more-- In the Light of the Law.
Now that's settled ;-). Let's make lasagna people!