spinach mushroom lasagna!

I haven’t made this dish in awhile because it take a lot of steps and thus, a lot of time. But we’re having our tenants for dinner tomorrow – they’re in their mid-20’s – and I thought this might be a crowd pleaser. Hope so, anyway.

In a long dutch oven, I brought water with oil and salt to a rapid bowl and placed a box of lasagna noodles to cook for 10 minutes. (Turns out, I had six leftover which I froze afterwards in parchment paper.)

I sliced about 8 fresh large Shitake mushrooms in lengths and fried them in a dry skillet. Added about the same quantity of Cremini mushrooms sliced lengthwise to the pan and sprinkled with a little salt. The mushrooms made their own liquid and I sauteed them until they were golden brown. I read somewhere that it’s important to cook fresh Shitake mushrooms well or it could result in some strange neurological symptoms. Anyhow.

To a chopped fresh shallot and butter, I added a frozen block of chopped spinach. Gradually, it cooked down. I added a sprinkle of nutmeg and let it cool. I drained it until it was dry and added it to a 16 ounce container of whole milk Dragone ricotta. Grated a half cup of parmesan into the ricotta and stirred it up before adding the drained cooked spinach mixture.

When the lasagna was cooked, I lifted it up with tongs and plunged it into a large mixing bowl of cold water so that it wouldn’t stick together. Then, I drained them individually on paper towels to ready them for layering. These steps are tedious but necessary not to have a soupy mess in the lasagna.

SO, to layer the lasagna, I sprayed the large baking pan with Pam. Opened a large jar of Ragu organic tomato sauce.

  1. spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan
  2. lay three lasagna noodles on the sauce
  3. spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the noodles
  4. scatter half of the dry fried mushrooms as the next layer
  5. plop a few spoonfuls of ricotta spinach mixture and spread evenly using your fingers
  6. lay three lasagna noodles on the ricotta
  7. spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the noodles
  8. scatter remaining mushrooms on top
  9. lay three lasagna noodles on mushrooms
  10. spread with tomato sauce; add chopped fresh basil
  11. finish layering all the spinach ricotta mixture
  12. grate fresh parmesan cheese over the ricotta
  13. lay last three lasagna noodles on parmesan cheese
  14. spread remaining tomato sauce on noodles; add fresh basil
  15. layer with a packet of fresh mozzarella cheese all over the top
  16. sprinkle with fresh basil leaves
  17. grate layer of fresh parmesan cheese on top
  18. cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Let lasagna come to room temperature; bake at 350 covered for half an hour. Take off foil and bake another half hour. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. My lasagna is now in the fridge covered with foil. When it’s baked and bubbly tomorrow night, I’ll add a photo of the finished dish! Bon Appetit!