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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Three Cheese Lasagna with Spinach & Bolognese Sauce

This lasagna is so good, but don't take my word for it.  Make it yourself and see what I mean.  It's light, not drenched in sauce, and the taste is unbelievable.

                             
                                  Three Cheese Lasagna with Spinach and Bolognese Sauce
                                  
                              

courtesy of Cuisine at home

Ingredients:                                   Yield: 6 servings

9 dry whole wheat lasagna noodles  (I always boil more noodles in case some break)

1 pound frozen spinach

3/4 pound ground beef sirloin

2 teaspoons canola oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped carrot

1/2 cup celery

8 ounces button mushrooms

2 cloves garlic

1 can diced tomatoes, well drained (14.5 oz.)

1 tablespoon dried italian herbs

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 can low sodium tomato sauce, divided  (8 oz.)


cheese sauce:

1 1/2 cups 2% cottage cheese (12 oz.)

2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella, divided (8oz.)

1 egg

1/4 cup shredded parmesan

1/3 cup fresh italian parsley for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In large pot of salted water boil lasagna noodles.  When softened (about 8 minutes) remove from pot and set aside.  DO NOT discard water.  Blanch spinach in lasagna water for one minute.  Drain spinach and let cool.  Remove excess water by gathering and squeezing with paper towels.

For the bolognese, brown beef in oil over medium high heat; drain.  Return beef to skillet.  Mince onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms, and garlic in a food processor; add to browned meat in skillet.   Cook until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.

Strain beef mixture to remove excess liquid; return to skillet.  Stir tomatoes, italian herbs, pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.

Spread 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce in the bottom of an 8 inch, 2 quart square baking dish.  Add remaining tomato sauce to bolognese; stir until combined.  Remove from heat and set aside.

For the sauce, pulse cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, and the egg in a food processor until smooth; set aside.

Layer 4 lasagna sheets over tomato sauce in dish, overlapping and cutting ends off to fit.  Reserve cut pieces for top layer.  Spread 1/3 of the bolognese over lasagna sheets; top with half of the cheese sauce followed by half of the spinach.

Repeat layers with 4 more lasagna sheets, layering in the opposite direction and cutting to fit.  Top with another 1/3 of the bolognese, remaining cheese sauce, and the spinach.  Top with remaining lasagna sheets, remaining bolognese, remaining 1 cup mozzarella, and parmesan.  Sprinkle fresh italian parsley.  Bake lasagna until topping is browned, about 25 minutes.

Note:  I know it sounds and it is a lot of steps, but it is worth it. The reason for layering in opposite directions makes it easier to cut and serve.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Buon Appetito

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