December 21, 2009
We’re definitely coming out of the woods as far as the infancy craziness. Not only is our new ChowBaby dreamy and laid back, but he’s also already 2-months-old! He’s sleeping for longer chunks of time and even allowing me to get a decent night’s sleep most evenings. While I’m excited to be able to make dinner every night again (at least for now), I always like to make one dish a week that will last a few meals and/or freeze well. It’s a trick that every family cook should add to their repertoire. It takes hardly any extra time or effort and affords you a night off from cooking, not to mention great packed lunches. The best is when your freezer start to fill up with such meals. It takes the pressure off, especially useful during busy times like the holidays.
This Spinach Lasagna is made with my Deliciously Simple, Rich (Turkey) Meat Sauce. The combo of vegetable, lean meat, pasta and cheese makes this a healthy, complete meal. Once you make the sauce, which takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours largely unattended (and can be made a day or two ahead of making lasagna), putting the lasagna together is a snap. It requires no more than 15 minutes prep time.
Combined with creamy ricotta, the sauce gets even more delicious in this baked pasta. So much so that you’ll end up freezing a bunch just to make sure you don’t eat it all at once. Enjoy!
(for kids 10+ mos)
1 batch of Deliciously Simple, Rich (Turkey) Meat Sauce (or your favorite tomato sauce)
1 10-oz package frozen organic chopped spinach, thawed
1 organic egg, lightly beaten
1 15-oz organic ricotta cheese (fresh ricotta is delicious, too!)
1 8-oz package no-boil lasagna noodles
12-oz organic mozzarella, shredded
1/2 c organic parmesan, grated
salt and pepper
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In the meantime, squeeze thawed spinach of all excess water. Mix with egg and ricotta, salt and pepper.
2. In an (approximately) 9×13 baking dish, spread enough meat sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the pan. Lay pasta on top of sauce to cover bottom of the pan making sure they don’t overlap or touch the side of the pan (they will expand during cooking). This should take about 3 pieces.
3. Cover pasta with 1/3 of ricotta mixture, then 1/4 of remaining sauce, and then 1/4 of shredded mozzarella. Repeat two more times.
4. By now, your ricotta should be all done. Lay one last layer of pasta on top of the lasagna. Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella. Top that with parmesan.
5. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 or 15 minutes, until the cheese is nicely browned and the whole lasagna is hot and bubbly.
Note: Let any portions that you’ll be saving, either in the fridge or freezer cool completely before packaging them up in an airtight container.