Monday, August 30, 2010

Spinach & Broccoli Lasagna


I learned how to make lasagna by watching my mom in the kitchen and it's one of my favorite things to make. It's easy, tastes good leftover (better even sometimes) and you can freeze it. Don't be intimidated by all the layers, it comes together in a snap, most of the time required is to bake the dish. I tend to be impatient when baking lasagna, especially if it's a week night and I'm hungry. The longer you can hold out, the better it tastes, so try to be patient.

Note that the ingredient quantities can be adjusted to make a smaller or larger lasagna. The amounts I list below will make a small lasagna about 6 servings (ie not too much for one person to eat over a few days), I use this IKEA pan when I make lasagna for myself. If you want to make a larger version appropriate for a standard 9X13 pan, you should roughly double what I have listed below.

Ingredients

1 small container of ricotta (I think the small ones are around 10oz but I can't remember)
2 cups shredded Italian cheese (you can use Mozzarella, but a blend of several Italian cheeses is best)
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli
4-6 pre-cooked lasagna noodles
26oz jar of spaghetti sauce
Garlic (to taste)
Italian Seasoning (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)

Mix the egg and all the seasonings in with the ricotta in a medium size bowl. Grease a small (approx 11X7) baking pan. Put a small amount of pasta sauce (approx 1/3 cup) in the bottom of the pan, this helps prevent the noodles from burning on. On top of the sauce, layer ingredients in the following order noodles, ricotta, veggies, shredded cheese, sauce and starting over with noodles again, repeating until you run out of ingredients or reach the top of the pan. You should end with noodles topped with shredded cheese on the top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 30-60 minutes, removing the foil for the last 10-15 minutes.

As I said above, I'm impatient when waiting for lasagna. It must bake long enough for the cheese to melt but it will taste much better if baked for a full hour. Sometimes I make the double size and put single lunch portions in the freezer and pull them out to take to work when I'm in a rush or don't have anything else handy.

Taste: A
Cost: B+ (no meat!)
Waste: A+

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