You will not miss the meat in this lasagna! The cheeses more than compensate. It’s rich, hearty and delicious. No need to cook the lasagna noodles in advance, which makes it even easier to put together. The lasagna is so moist that regular boxed noodles work fine. It also freezes and reheats well. You can use either frozen or fresh spinach, but I think fresh is always better.
Here’s my happy husband ready to dig in! I did serve him sausage, green peppers and onion on the side. We’re originally from Boston and Jerry’s favorite pizza is called a ‘Fenway Park’-Italian sausage, sweet green peppers and onions.
You don’t have to make your own red sauce, but I did. I love the way a slow cooking spaghetti sauce makes the house smell. I used my ‘go-to’ canned tomatoes-San Marzano’s from Italy.
I found this recipe at my new dentist’s office (Dr. Alex Foor-Tubac Dental. He is fabulous! Dr. Foor also went to dental school in Boston, which gives us a lot to talk about!) from a Bon Appetit magazine he had in his reception room. The only differences I made were to bulk up the parmesan (from 3 oz. to 5 oz.), add 1 tsp. of dried basil, 1 tsp. dried oregano to the sauce and a slightly beaten egg to the cheese mixture. I also used 16 oz. of fresh spinach rather than frozen as B.A. calls for. Whether you’re using fresh or frozen be sure to thoroughly squeeze the water out of the spinach.
I also liked how you layer the cheese/spinach mixture with the noodles and red sauce.
It freezes well baked, but you can also assemble the dish and freeze whole for a couple of months.
And here it is ready to pop into the oven.
And now…all baked! I love all Italian food. Next week my friend, Dorita Pina is coming over and we’re going to make spinach pasta. I have never incorporated veg in my pasta so want to start experimenting. I think spinach pasta would make this lasagna even better.
MANGIA TUTTO ITALIANO!
Spinach And Ricotta Lasagna
Creamy, rich and delicious. With a good amount of three different cheeses you will not miss the meat.
- 1/4 cup EVOO-Extra Virgin Olive Oil Plus more for the pan
- 5 Cloves Garlic Finely chopped
- 1 28 oz. Can whole peeled tomatoes I prefer Cento San Marzano's.
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt, divided 1/2 tsp. for the red sauce, 1/2 tsp. for the cheeses
- 1/4 tsp. Crushed red pepper flake
- 1 tsp. Dried basil For the red sauce
- 1 tsp. Dried oregano For the red sauce
- 1 16 oz. Frozen, chopped spinach, thawed, drained and well squeezed OR One 16 oz. package fresh spinach, steamed until just wilted, cooled and well squeezed.
- 1 16 oz. Whole-Milk Ricotta
- 4 oz. Cream cheese At room temperature
- 5 oz. Grated parmesan More for serving
- 1 Egg, slightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups Heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper More or less to your liking
- 15 Lasagna Noodles; Do not use No-Boil noodles 15 is not an exact number. You want enough noodles to completely cover each layer.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease a 9x13" baking dish with olive oil.
Heat 1/4 cup oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until the garlic becomes fragrant and a little brown around the edges--about 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes and red pepper flakes and crush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to break them up and make a mostly smooth sauce.
Season with 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt and cook down on low heat until the flavors come together--about 30 minutes. Transfer to a heat-proof 4 cup glass measuring cup and stirring constantly add water to make 4 cups of sauce or to the correct consistency.
Meanwhile mix ricotta, cream cheese, slightly beaten egg and 5 oz. parmesan in large bowl to combine well. Add the spinach in batches and stir until completely combined. Then mix in 1 1/2 cups heavy cream. Season with 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt and black pepper.
Pour a scant cup of tomato sauce in the bottom of the oiled 9x13" pan and spread into a thin layer just to coat.
Place noodles over the red sauce to completely cover. You may need to carefully break the noodles to fit evenly into the baking dish.
Spread 1 cup (or to cover) spinach/cheese mixture over the first layer of noodles. Cover the spinach/cheese sauce with another 1/2 cup scant red sauce.
Keep repeating layers until both red sauce and spinach/cheese sauce is finished. Top with 5 oz. parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake lasagna for 45 minutes. Heat broiler. Uncover and broil top until it is golden--about 4 minutes. My top got a little dark, but because this lasagna is so creamy and cheesy it did not matter.
If you are making the lasagna ahead. Assemble the dish, cover tightly with foil and freeze. Bake, covered in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 more minutes. Broil 3-4 minutes.