Sunday, January 6, 2013

Taste the Rainbow of Lasagna

I'm a fan of your standard recipe going created. For instance, on one of the reality cooking shows last year, I noticed a ravioli made with barbeque meat instead of ground beef--what a fantastic idea! I haven't gotten that creative yet, but this recipe for spinach lasagna inspired me:


    1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    Kosher salt
    2 clove(s) garlic, finely chopped
    1 package(s) (10-ounce) frozen leaf spinach
    1 package(s) (10-ounce) frozen broccoli florets
    1 container(s) (15-ounce) part-skim ricotta
    6 ounce(s) (about 1 1/2 cups) part-skim mozzarella, grated
    1/2 cup(s) grated Romano cheese
    1 cup(s) whole milk
    4 ounce(s) cream cheese, cut into pieces
    1 pinch(s) freshly grated or ground nutmeg
    8 no-boil lasagna noodles

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until very tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  2. While the onion is cooking, thaw the spinach and broccoli according to package directions. Squeeze the spinach of excess moisture and pat the broccoli dry. Roughly chop both and place in a large bowl. Mix in the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, and 1/4 cup Romano.
  3. Add the milk to the onions and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer, then whisk in the cream cheese, nutmeg, and remaining 1/4 cup Romano. Gently simmer (do not boil), stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce on the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish. Top with 2 1/2 noodles (breaking as necessary to fit). Spread a third (about 1/3 cup) of the remaining sauce over the top. Dollop with a third (about 1 1/3 cups) of the ricotta mixture. Repeat twice.
  5. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella, cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the noodles are tender (a sharp knife should go through with no resistance) and the top is golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes more. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

I have never made a lasagna with a white sauce and I don't think I would have ever thought about cream cheese being in the sauce. 

So I thought, why couldn't you use the special flavors of Philadelphia soft cream cheese to make variations of this recipe? For instance, the Spinach and Artichoke flavor would have been perfect for this recipe. 

The Tomato and Basil flavor would go great with sauteed red onions, red peppers, diced chilies and tomatoes, along with the spinach. 

The Chive and Onion may be suited for the addition of bacon, lemon flavoring, and cheddar, like a baked potato lasagna.

Obviously the Pineapple version would go over well if it included ham, then I think I would include the red peppers and bacon in that dish as well. 

Last year I became obsessed with making gourmet deviled eggs. I may have found a new obsession.

Garden Vegetable and the sweeter blends like Strawberry and Honey Nut Spread are left. I think the Garden Vegetable would be great for a breakfast lasagna but would be curious to any cooks out there about using the sweet spreads for a lasagna or something even more creative.

In the mean time, this dish cost me around $5 per serving. By the way, you can use Parmesan cheese in replacement of Romano. It tastes almost exactly the same. If I had known that, the dish would have been around $3.50 a serving.

Also, the sauce for the lasagna is fantastic. You could easily use it for a host of other dishes if you don't mind the fat, calories, and cholesterol.

1 comment:

  1. Where's my plate?! I want you to make me some of this!! :)~