spinach lasagna

Originally posted: March 2011

spinach lasagna

I’ve been trying to perfect my lasagna over the past few years. I haven’t really found a recipe I particularly like as well so I’m always on the lookout for something simple, yet seemingly tasty. I enjoy veggie lasagnas and when I saw this recipe on Annie’s Eats, I knew I had to try it.

I used spinach instead of kale. I also took some liberties with the sauce – added a diced onion, bay leaf, and sugar to cut the acidity of the tomato sauce. When I finished layering the lasagna, it didn’t look like there was enough liquid covering the sheets because you need enough liquid to cook the noodles. I was a little worried so I decided to add a cup of chicken broth. However, after baking I realized the lasagna would have been just fine without that broth (or maybe 1/2 cup was enough). Or maybe I shouldn’t have covered the lasagna for the first 30 minutes. Gah! It still turned out nice, but not the prettiest.

Spinach Lasagna

(taken from Annie’s Eats; click here for recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ lbs. kale (or spinach), stems removed OR 1 package frozen spinach, cooked and water squeezed out
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes, (preferably with herbs)
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 4 cups cottage cheese
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ¾ tsp. pepper
  • 16 no-boil lasagna noodles (or noodles cooked according to package directions)

Method:

  1. To prepare the kale, bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add the kale to the pot and boil for 2 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water until cool enough to handle.  Wrap the kale inside a clean kitchen towel and wring out as much excess liquid as possible.  Chop roughly, season with salt and pepper, and set aside. If using spinach, just season with salt and pepper.
  2. To make the tomato sauce, combine the oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in a cold saucepan.   Heat over medium-high, stirring frequently.  Once bubbling, cook for about 30 seconds.  Mix in the crushed tomatoes, reduce heat and let simmer 5-10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  3. To make the cheese mixture, strain all of the liquid out of the cottage cheese.  (I used a fine mesh strainer and pressed down to remove the liquid.)  Mix in ½ cup of the Parmesan, 1½ cups of the mozzarella, 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  To assemble the lasagna, add a thin layer of the sauce to the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Cover with a layer of noodles, then half of the cheese mixture, half of the kale, and half of the remaining sauce.  Add another layer of noodles, the remaining cheese mixture, and the remaining kale.  Top with the remaining noodles, then the remaining sauce.  Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, until bubbly and browned.  Let stand at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
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