Monday, February 6, 2012

Spinach Mushroom Lasagna

I have been wanting to try a spinach lasagne for a while and decided it was perfect for today's Meatless Monday dinner. This particular recipe used frozen spinach which was thawed and squeezed dry before being mixed with ricotta cheese and an egg. I made a white sauce and added freshly grated Parmesan cheese to it to make an Alfredo style sauce. I precooked my lasagna noodles and then started layering everything in my casserole dish, starting with sauce, a layer of noodles, a layer of spinach mixture, a layer of some raw sliced mushrooms and grated carrots and continued on, finishing with a layer of noodles topped with the remaining sauce and finally a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese. This lasagna turned out beautifully and is a nice change from the typical tomato sauce lasagna.

Spinach Mushroom Lasagna

1 10-ounce package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
8 ounces of lasagna noodles
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 cups milk
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13 lasagna pan with cooking spray.

Drain the spinach, wrap it in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze dry. Add dried spinach to a medium bowl and mix in ricotta cheese. Beat egg with a wire whisk and add it to the spinach and ricotta. Stir well to blend and set aside.

While heating the water to cook the lasagna, make the Alfredo sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan, whisk in the flour, salt and pepper and continue to whisk over medium heat until flour-butter mixtures comes to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to whisk and simmer for 1 minute. Raise heat to medium again and gradually add milk, stirring constantly and bring back to the boil. Simmer, stirring constantly for 1 more minute or until sauce is smooth and thickened. Off heat, stir in Parmesan until melted and set sauce aside.

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water until cool enough to handle.

Spread about 1/2 cup pasta sauce evenly in bottom of sprayed lasagna pan. Place 3 noodles over the sauce. Spread half of the spinach mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with half of the carrots and mushrooms. Place 3 more noodles over the vegetable mixture. Pour 1 1/2 cups sauce over the noodles. Spread the remaining spinach mixture over the sauce, followed by layers of the remaining carrots and mushrooms. Place last 3 noodles over the vegetables. Pour remaining sauce evenly on top. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Cover the dish tightly with the foil, spray side down.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Remove foil. Turn the oven off and let lasagne sit in the warm oven for 15 more minutes. Serve at once or let rest until ready to serve.

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