Weekly Dish: Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna

We are in cold weather season (where the heat from dinner cooking in the oven is welcome), this makes a great winter meal. It is delicious. So delicious, I could eat plates and plates of it. And maybe I have…

Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna

12 whole wheat noodles or brown rice noodles (or 8- or 9-ounce package)*

Ricotta mixture:
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1 1/4 cups Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh basil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon real salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

6 cups homemade tomato sauce:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 onion, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 Tablespoon basil
1 Tablespoon oregano
dash of crushed red pepper

Mushroom/Spinach mixture:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 pound assorted mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed, thoroughly squeezed dry

1 pound whole-milk mozzarella, shredded (4 cups)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375.

Cook pasta in boiling water until just underdone, about 4-5 minutes. (You can also use no-boil noodles here if you are so inclined.)

Make the filling: Mix the ricotta, 1 cup of Parmesan, basil, egg, salt, pepper until well combined.

Make sauce: Heat oil in dutch oven. Saute onion in the oil until completely softened. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 10-30 seconds. Add crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes and spices and cook about 15 minutes.

Make mushroom/spinach mixture: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in 2 minced garlic gloves and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Off the heat, stir in the spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spread 1/4 cup tomato sauce over bottom of 9×13 dish. Place 3 noodles on top of sauce and drop 3 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture down the center of each noodle, then spread out evenly. Sprinkle a third of the mushroom and spinach mixture over each layer of ricotta. Sprinkly evenly with 1 cup of the mozzarella. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the sauce evenly over the cheese. Repeat layering two more times.

For the final layer, place the 3 remaining noodles on top. Spread the remaining sauce over the noodles. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella and then the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan. Spray a large sheet of foil lightly with olive oil spray and cover the lasagna. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese is browned and the sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes longer. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Variations: You can also make this as a simple cheese lasagna or with meat.

*If possible, find sprouted whole wheat or whole grain noodles.

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