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Spinach-Ricotta Lasagna

Spinach-Ricotta Lasagna: This vegetarian lasagna is a warm, filling, perfect family meal and an apt potluck dish for get-together & gathering on holidays. This dish is layers of goodness of Fresh Spinach, Ricotta-Mozzarella-Parmesan Cheese and a few extra veggies like zucchini and cherry tomato. I assure your meat-eating friends too will enjoy. This lasagna can also be arranged way before time and baked just before serving so you can concentrate on other side dishes or relax!

 

 

If you love mushroom, include in the recipe. Saute along with zucchini.

Ingredients you will need:

For the Sauce:
2 tbsp Olive oil
2 pods Garlic
1/2-3/4 cup of chopped Onion
2 Tomatoes – Pureed
1 tbsp Tomato paste
3-4 sprigs of Thyme
5-6 large sweet basil leaves
1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
Salt & Pepper – to taste

Pasta:
9 Lasagna sheets (3 sheets for each layer)
Water
Generous amount of Salt

Other Ingredients:
1.5 cups Ricotta Cheese
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1 cup packed Spinach
1 tsp olive oil
1 Zucchini – thinly sliced – Optional
1 cup Shredded Mozzarella
Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan cheese)
Salt & Pepper

Preparation:

First, In a big pot, bring water to a rapid boil. Add Salt.

Two common mistakes while cooking pasta are: Adding pasta before the water comes to a full boil and adding oil to the water.  If pasta is added before, it doesn’t cook completely. Adding oil to water to avoid the pasta sheets from sticking to each other will make it oily and, as a result you have a flavorless pasta because the sauce slides off not getting absorbed by the pasta. Instead, to keep pasta from sticking, stir during the first minute or two of cooking.

Add Lasagna sheets, if you don’t have a large pot for the sheets, no problem! break the sheets into two. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until all the sheets are done. Drain. Arrange them in single layer, so that they don’t stick to each other.

Meanwhile,Over medium high heat, in a pan add olive oil. Put the onion and garlic and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt and crushed pepper, and cook until translucent (about 4 minutes), stirring occasionally , then add the tomato paste and pureed tomatoes,cook stirring occasionally, for 3 more minutes. Add the 3-4 sprigs of thyme, chopped sweet basil leaves and 1/4 tsp dried oregano, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 8-10 more minutes. Taste and adjust salt.

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare for layering the pasta

 

Saute Zucchini in 1 tsp oil in a small skillet with very little salt.

Mix garlic powder and ricotta cheese well.

Chop spinach finely. I used fresh baby spinach so I did not cook the spinach. But if you are using regular spinach, clean and blanch the spinach.

In a baking dish, layer few spoons of tomato sauce. Lay the sheets in a single layer to form the base.

 

 

Spread ricotta cheese-garlic powder mixture

 

 

Evenly sprinkle spinach and sautéed zucchini

 

 

Add shredded mozzarella cheese

 

 

Spread another layer of tomato sauce and repeat the process for 2 times

 

 

Finally add generous amount of Mozzarella & Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan cheese)

 

 

I topped a few sliced cherry tomatoes – optional.

Cover the pan and bake for 25 minutes. Remove cover and cook for another 25 minutes or until there is beautiful brown shades on top.

 

Let it cool for few minutes before you dig in!

Happy cooking

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