Growing up, lasagna was this elusive meal only consumed by cats that sounded like Bill Murray. For some reason, we never ate it at my house. Perhaps it is the lack of Italian ancestors in my family tree? I am not sure.
Any who, fast forward about 20 years, my best friend invites me to her dad’s lasagna party. Every year, her very Italian (and awesome) father cooks multiple pans of delicious lasagna and opens his home to about a hundred of their closest family and friends. This was one of the best parties ever, not only because the wine flowed as fast as the videos of Father Guido Sarducci, but the lasagna was incredible. Now, long story short, at this point in my life, I had eaten my fair share of lasagna, but I still hadn’t ever made it. So, when the time came, I asked my friend to give me some pointers, and what does she do? She straight up gives me a link to re-create her fathers lasagna. Score! So, for the past few years, this has been a stand-by recipe. Only recently have I started to alter it to make it more of “my own.”
I did a couple of tweaks to make it a healthier choice, such as swapping regular ricotta for non-fat, decreasing the amount of meat, and using more veggies. And I am willing to bet that as soon as TJ’s starts to carry whole wheat lasagna noodles, that will be another swap!
Spinach and Mushroom Beef Lasagna
- Lasagna Sauce (see recipe below)
- Ricotta Cheese Mixture (see recipe below)
- 1 bag mozzarella cheese
- 1 package (12) lasagna noodles
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (Fresh if possible)
- 1 tbsp butter
- Make sauce (see below)
- Make ricotta mixture (see below)
- Butter 13×9 dish
- Assemble: noodle, 1/2 ricotta, 1/3 sauce, mozzarella, noodle, 1/2 ricotta, 1/3 sauce, mozzarella, noodle, 1/3 sauce, Parmesan and a little more mozzarella (but not too much)
- Bake at 350 for 35-40 min. Let sit a few minutes prior to serving.
- 1 lb 96/4 ground beef
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, or 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 bag mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2 bag baby spinach
- 1 jar Tomato Basil pasta sauce
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, start to brown ground beef. Once it starts to release its juices, add diced onions and cook until meat is starting to brown and onions are starting to soften. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms begin to soften. Add pasta sauce and put to simmer on a low heat for about a half an hour. Towards the end, add spinach until just wilted and remove from heat.
Ricotta Cheese Mixture
- 1 container non- fat ricotta
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup Parmesan
- 2 tsp basil, dried
- 1 tsp oregano, dried
- 1 tsp garlic powder
Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir until combined.
A nice Chianti
sautéed zucchini sprinkled with parmesan cheese
A light salad with balsamic glaze, meyer lemon olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper