Monday, June 18, 2012
Spinach growing in the garden is a welcome sign of Spring and with our mild winter it was one of the first of my spring seeds that went into the garden but this week I harvested what was left of a super growing season, and I'll be planting more being grown as a fall crop too.
So with my crazy season this time of year and a few rainy days I made spinach lasagne for a change. Farmers markets and gardening are keeping me hopping so I'm not spending much time in the kitchen these days, so when I do, I try to prepare time saving meals. I've always wanted to try oven ready lasagne noodles and I have to admit, they were very good and for time-pressed cooks just pretty darn good. By no means will they replace a thick tray of oven baked traditional lasagne, but a great time saver. Be sure the final layer of marinara sauce covers the edges of the noodles to prevent them from getting hard.
1 1/2 lbs fresh spinach, rinsed well & roughly cut
2 TBLS olive oil
16 oz ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
6 TBLS Parmesan cheese
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp each of: dried basil and oregano
ground black pepper
3 cups marina sauce--homemade..it's so much better or use your favorite brand
9 no-boil lasagne noodles
In a medium skillet,add olive oil and saute garlic until just lightly brown. Add the rinsed fresh spinach, tossing until just wilted. Drain any excess liquid from the cooked spinach and set aside.
In a large bowl combine ricotta, 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella, egg, 4 TBLS parmesan, the herbs and ground pepper. Stir in the cooked spinach.
In the bottom of a 9x9 square baking dish spread a ladle of marinara sauce. Top with three lasagne noodles, half the ricotta/spinach mixture--then 1/2 cup or so of marinara sauce. Top with three more noodles, repeating the layering finishing off with your top of lasagne noodles. Generously spread the remaining marinara sauce over the noodles spreading to the edge of your casserole. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until bubbly and the noodles are tender--about 4 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing, and then serve. Enjoy!