Have you ever made homemade lasagna from scratch? I mean literally from scratch. Homemade pasta, homemade sauce, homemade cheese….the works? Well I hadn’t either, but I did last week, and let me tell you, it was worth the effort (and not really as hard as you would think).
My parents left this morning on their Amtrak adventure across the country. I will be spending the rest of the week detoxing and eating salad. You know how it is when visitors come; lots of cocktails, appetizers, and robust meals (like lasagna!) My body isn’t used to all that, and I’ll probably be feeling the effects for a few days, but you just have to live a little sometimes am I right? I do have a couple of pieces of lasagna left over which I’ll eat for lunch today then THAT’S IT. I swear! Back to the healthy diet and exercise grind…..okay, maybe until labor day weekend when I’m sure the drinks and snacks will be plentiful, but after that I’m back on the wagon! Pinky promise.
Fresh Marinara Sauce recipe from Fashionably Foodie
Fresh Ricotta Cheese recipe from Ina Garten
Fresh Pasta recipe from David Lebovitz
Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna recipe adapted from Fine Cooking
- 1-1/2 lb. (about 3 cups) whole milk ricotta
- 2 lb. fresh spinach, or 2 10-oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 2 oz. (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 lb. homemade lasagna noodles, uncooked **see above
1 recipe fresh tomato sauce** see above
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 oz. (1 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
Stem and rinse spinach well; don’t dry the leaves. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, cook the spinach until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well, squeeze out the excess moisture, and chop finely. If using thawed frozen spinach, squeeze it dry.
Melt the butter in a 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat and add the onion. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add the spinach and toss it for 1 or 2 minutes to coat it with the butter. Transfer the spinach mixture to a bowl and let it cool to room temperature. Add the ricotta, Parmigiano, eggs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix well. You should have about 4-1/2 cups
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Choose a baking dish that’s about 9×12 inches and 3 inches deep, or about 10×14 inches and 2 inches deep. Spread 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce in a sparse layer on the bottom of the baking dish. Cover the sauce with a slightly overlapping layer of noodles, cutting them as needed to fill the gaps. With a spatula, spread one-third of the spinach and ricotta filling (about 1-1/2 cups) over the first layer of noodles. Then spread one-third of the remaining tomato sauce (about 1-1/3 cups) over the filling. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the Parmigiano on top. Add a new layer of noodles, overlapping them slightly, and repeat the layers as instructed above, using all of the filling and ending with the Parmigiano, to make a total of three layers (you may not need all the pasta). Dot the top with the butter cubes.
Put the baking dish on a baking sheet and bake until heated through and bubbling at the edges, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.