My dear friend James came by for dinner the other night so I made him something out of the ordinary….at least for us. James and I are particularly fond of outdoor grilling, but since the season isn’t quite here yet and I no longer live on the lake, it’s just not the same. And I am no longer willing to cook steaks so I hoped/thought this would fill the bill for him. He’s such a great trooper!
I got this recipe from the Pink Parsley blogger and only have a few slight variations on the quantities. I also made my home made french bread which I actually really improved on my previous posting (yes it has to do with kneading the dough) but boy what an improvement in texture and taste!! Same recipe, just done with a bit more elbow grease. Fantastic.
Pesto Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms
adapted from Cooking Light
* 4 cups torn spinach (I would make this 8 cups next time)
* 2 cups mushrooms, diced into medium pieces (I would leave out and I LOVE mushrooms or saute with the spinach and drain)
* 1/2 cup pesto; commercial or homemade
* 1 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella, shredded
* 1 (15-ounce) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten (Small egg is even better)
* 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
* 4 cups tomato-basil sauce; homemade or jarred (I needed more but I made a huge tray)
* 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce (I used paste but I make my sauce Doctored)
* Cooking spray
* 1 (8-ounce) package precooked lasagna noodles (12 noodles) (I used more)
Preheat the oven to 425. (I put on 350˚ and bake for a 45 min – hour so I can visit. Just a timing thing.)
Spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Steam the spinach and drain the excess moisture.
Combine the mushrooms, pesto, spinach in a small bowl and set aside. In another bowl, combine ricotta, 3/4 cup mozzarella, egg, and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Combine the tomato sauce with the pasta sauce.
Spread 1 cup of the pasta sauce in the bottom of the saucepan. Layer 3 lasagna noodles, followed by 1 cup of the spinach mixture and 1 cup of the cheese mixture. Repeat the layers, following the order of pasta sauce-pasta-spinach-cheese. Sprinkle remaining parmesan and mozzarella over the top.
Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes, until top is bubbly and golden.
As you can see by one of my photos, at the last minute since I didn’t make enough spinach I threw in some sun dried tomatoes. Do double the spinach.
Serve with warm French bread, a delicious garden salad with Blue Cheese and almonds and I skipped dessert. Bread always takes it out of me!! When the grill season comes in……grilled peaches served with vanilla ice cream. I love Friday nights!
When it’s Italian, you can be rest assured it’s my Napa Apron which gets put on! Still my favorite.
PS For French Bread recipe go to my archives and look for Home Made French Bread, then skip all the stirring. Instead knead for 5 minutes, turn in oiled bowl and let rise for 45 minutes (It’s ok if you totally get distracted…….) Punch down, let rise again for 35-minutes. I always brush with milk 25 minutes after I put in the oven. Bake as directed, but you can time it for your dinner if need be by turning it down, you just won’t get the type of crust you were thinking you wanted. It will STILL be de-lish! Bread is much more forgiving than humans, but not dogs! ;-)