Yesterday I told you I never made a layer cake before, and today I’m telling you I’ve never made lasagna before. Tomorrow I’ll be telling you something else I’ve never made before. This is a week of firsts for me! Go me!
For today, let’s talk lasagna! Spinach lasagna, to be exact. My mom has been making lasagnas since forever, but she has never shown me her method. My roommate was making her spinach lasagna for our Hanukkah party, so when I got home from work and she was just about to start the process I jumped at the opportunity to learn. She was happy to give me the step-by-step instructions and let me take the task off her hands (she had plenty more to get done). The lasagna was made the night before the party, baked, refrigerated and finished off in the oven the next day before our guests arrived. Homemade tomato sauce made this Spinach Lasagna a total hit – along with the amazing flavor that garlic adds to just about everything.
I sautéed, boiled, mixed and layered until everything looked beautiful and ready to go in the oven. The outcome? A luscious blend of spinach, cheese and pasta that reminded us all why lasagna is the perfect dish to have at a large dinner party.
Amy’s Baked Spinach Lasagna
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2 large containers of fresh spinach leaves
1 large tub of ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
2 boxes lasagna noodles, cooked
6 cups homemade tomato sauce
8 oz. block of mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan, sauté spinach on medium heat until just wilted. Be careful not to let the spinach cook down too much. Remove from heat and drain all excess liquid in a colander.
In a large bowl, mix the cooked spinach, ricotta and mozzarella until the spinach is evenly dispersed throughout the cheese. Stir in the garlic.
Start with a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. This will keep the noodles from sticking. Pour almost all of the remaining sauce into the spinach mixture and mix until very well combined. Make sure to leave at least 1/2 cup of tomato sauce in the pot.
Arrange one layer of noodles over the sauce. Scoop a generous amount of the spinach & sauce mixture over the noodles and spread evenly. Continue the layering process two more times. Place one last layer of noodles. Arrange the slices of mozzarella to cover the entire dish. Finally, pour the remaining sauce in the pot over top. Bake on the bottom rack in the oven for 1½ hours.