Sunday, October 7, 2012

Spinach Lasagna

Now, I know that I said that I was going to post more quick and easy weeknight meals on the blog, but this recipe requires a little more TLC. And it is definitely worth the time and effort. This spinach lasagna is a good meal to make during the weekends, when we have a (little) more time on our hands. I made this lasagna a couple weekends ago while my husband and brother-in-law were upstairs knocking down walls. Our brother-in-law came all the way from Loudoun County, Virginia to help, and I figured he deserved a nice meal (and Greg did too...). Over the summer we had some major home renovations, but there is still much work to be done. As we speak, Greg and my dad are upstairs hammering away! I made a quiche lorraine for dinner tonight, and I'll share that recipe later down the road. But for now here is the recipe for spinach lasagna - it is fairly healthy and filled with delicious flavor. It is also a great meal for leftovers. Enjoy.

Recipe for Spinach Lasagna

2 Tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions, halved and sliced thin
2 large white onions, halved and sliced thin
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups of chicken broth, divided
1 Tbsp. of dried oregano
2 tsp. of kosher salt
1 tsp. of black pepper
9 - 12 lasagna noodles
2 9-oz packages of frozen spinach
1 Tbsp. of salted butter
1 Tbsp. of all-purpose flour
1 large egg
2 cups of part-skim ricotta cheese
Zest of 1/2 of a lemon
Olive oil cooking spray
1 1/2 cups of Parmesan cheese

Put the olive oil in a large saute pan and set it over medium heat. Add in the onions and garlic and coat with the oil. Add in 2 cups of the chicken broth and reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the onions to cook in the broth for about 20 minutes, or until they are softened.

While the onions are cooking, cook the frozen spinach according to package directions. Once the spinach is finished cooking, drain the spinach and squeeze out all of the excess liquid. Season it with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Once the onions are finished cooking, reserve 1/2 cup of the chicken broth liquid from the skillet and set aside (it will be used in the roux). Add in the oregano, salt, and pepper to the skillet and increase the heat to medium. Continue to cook until the liquid fully evaporates, about 15 - 20 minutes.

While the onions and spices are cooking, cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions (I usually cook more than the 9 noodles needed, in case some break during the cooking process). Drain the noodles, carefully transfer them on a large plate, and blot them dry. Set aside.

When onions and spices are finished cooking, remove from heat and set aside.

After everything has been cooked and set aside, make the roux. Put the butter in a small saucepan and set it over medium heat. Immediately after it has melted, stir in the flour and continue to stir constantly until the roux is brown, about 2 minutes. Add in the 1/2 cup of reserved chicken broth and the other 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the roux, and whisk constantly until the roux is thick, about 4 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg. Stir in the ricotta cheese and lemon zest.

Coat a 9" x 13" pan with olive oil cooking spray and spread half of the roux mixture on the bottom of the pan. Line the pan with 3 of the lasagna noodles. Layer on half of the onion mixture, half of the ricotta mixture, half of the spinach, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Put 3 more lasagna noodles on top, and layer again with half of the onion mixture, ricotta mixture, spinach, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Top with the last 3 lasagna noodles, and spread the other half of the roux mixture on the noodles. Sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 45 - 50 minutes. Then carefully remove the foil from the pan, lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees, and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes. Allow the lasagna to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Adapted from: Self Magazine

NOTE: Although the original recipe says that the lasagna recipe makes 6 servings, in my house it makes closer to 10. One serving of the spinach lasagna has about 350 calories - not too bad! It's filling, and doesn't require any sides (except maybe a small garden salad).