Florentine Lasagna

Lasagna, Vegetarian

Florentine Lasagna

Adapted from eatingwell.com 

Here goes another recipe to satiate my lasagna obsession. It offers a great blend of spinach and cheeses. It doesn’t take very long to make and there is nothing too complex about the instructions. It makes a great dinner for vegetarians as it includes whole-wheat pasta, iron-rich spinach and a LOT of dairy protein. It did not disappoint! 

Yields 8-9 servings 

Ingredients:

  • 16 whole-wheat lasagna noodles
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2½ cups milk
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 16-ounce container ricotta
  • 1 16-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • ¼ cup Italian blend shredded cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
Florentine Lasagna, plato

Don’t judge. I love nutmeg on pasta and with spinach. You should try it!

Directions: 

1.     Bring a pot of water to the boil. Preheat the oven to 425F (218C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

2.     Cook the lasagna noodles in the boiling water until tender, about 8 minutes. With tongs, remove the noodles from the pot and arrange in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel cover with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. Set aside.

3.     Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside ¼ cup of the onion. Add the flour to the onion mixture still in the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk and return to a simmer. Cook, whisking until thickened to the consistency of heavy cream. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Spoon ½ cup of the sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish and set aside.

4.     Process the ricotta, the reserved ¼ cup of onion, spinach and Italian blend in a food processor until well combined and the spinach is finely chopped. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the egg and pulse until blended.

5.     Spread a generous ½ cup of the spinach mixture onto the baking dish. Use more as needed to cover the bottom. Top with about 3 noodles so as to cover the bottom. Top with another generous ½ cup of filling or so and then 3 more noodles. Continue until the filling is used up. Top the final spinach layer with 3 more noodles. Spoon the remaining sauce evenly over the lasagna and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

6.     Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbling and golden.

      Comments: This was actually meant to be lasagna roll-ups. However, my mom had previously frozen some cooked lasagna noodles and they were already cut so I had to resort to make an actual lasagna. I personally find lasagna roll-ups more fun and they are different. However, feel free to make this recipe however you like. To make the roll-ups, you will spoon ½ cup of the sauce into the bottom of the baking dish as normal. Then, instead of layering the noodles and filling like normal lasagna, you will spread 3 tablespoons of the filling over 1 noodle. Then you will roll it up firmly and place seam-side down in the prepared baking dish. Finally, you top the roll-ups with the sauce and sprinkle with the Parmesan and cook as instructed. When making a normal lasagna, I actually ended up using less than 16 noodles but this is the right amount for the roll-ups.

Florentine Lasagna, plato, lado

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