Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna
|Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna|
|Time:||3 hours and 15 minutes|
Lasagna is a well known baked Italian pasta dish. This hearty, meatless recipe attempts to compose the tang of the tomato sauce with the creaminess of the ricotta and the sweetness of the spinach.
This recipe is the assembly of four different preparations into a baked dish and is presented here as such. While it might seem long, complicated and overwhelming this recipe is fairly simple and not very involved while the result is almost guaranteed to impress.
- Two 28 oz. cans of San Marzano or Roma (Italian) tomatoes
- One bulb of garlic cloves (about 12), peeled
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- Two 15 oz. tubs of ricotta
- Two large eggs
- Three 9 oz. packages of frozen spinach
Pasta and Assembly
- 1 lb. lasagna sheets
- 3/4 lb. shredded mozzarella
- Put a thick-bottomed pot over a medium-low heat with the oil and garlic stirring until it becomes fragrant and blisters begin to form.
- Add the tomatoes and lower the heat to low.
- Simmer until it has a sauce consistency and has reduced to about 2/3; about an hour and a half.
- Turn off the heat and remove the garlic cloves to mash them with a fork and add the puree to the sauce.
- Add salt to taste, cover and let rest 30 minutes.
- Pour the ricotta cheese onto a cheesecloth or tea towel in a strainer to drain for 30 minutes.
- Add the eggs and beat until creamy with a hand mixer.
- Cover and reserve, ensuring it is at room temperature for assembly.
- Thaw, drain and press the liquid out of frozen spinach.
- Reserve until ready to assemble.
- Cook the pasta according to the manufacturer's directions, drain and place back into the pot with cold water.
- Lay the sheets on a clean, wet tea towel and roll the cloth until ready to use.
Assembly and Cooking
- Ladle sauce at the bottom of a 9" x 13" pan and layer lasagna sheets.
- Sparsely deposit spinach onto the noodles and apply cheese mixture with a rubber spatula.
- Add more sauce and repeat the previous step until the pan is almost full and covered with a layer of lasagna.
- Add sauce and cover with grated mozzarella.
- Put the pan onto a tray and bake at 350ºF for approximately 30 minutes, or until an internal temperature of 150ºF.
- Let settle for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
- It is possible to prepare everything else while the sauce simmers.
- The stem-part of the tomatoes can be pinched out, to break the tomato apart without crushing it.
- Placing a wooden spoon transversely onto the pot before setting the lid on it allows evaporation and prevents splatter.
- The tomato sauce also works great on pizza.
- Substituting for fresh spinach is not recommended.
- Laying the lasagna sheets in alternating directions (lengthwise, widthwise, lengthwise, etc.) increases structural strength.
- If presentation requires it the lasagna can be broiled for a few minutes at the end of baking.