spinach ricotta lasagna
I don't think I'd normally be making lasagna on a Sunday afternoon in July. Today though was a little more crisp, pouring rain, a good day for something cozy. Lasagna is always one of those things that seems to be more complicated than it is. Its also one of those recipes you can really alter to your dietary needs - you can get gluten free noodles, make it without meat, even make your sauce from scratch if you'd like. I kept it pretty simple today and used what I had on hand.
I started by browning a pound of ground beef. Normally I would caramelize some minced garlic and onion, however, today I was making this lasagna to share with Frank's gram, and she doesn't love a ton of onion and garlic - so I switched out to use dried minced onion and garlic powder instead. As the meat begins to cook, lower the temperature and pour in your sauce and season with a little salt and pepper. Again, I usually will make a quick sauce, but do what works best for your day, your schedule, and your preference. Let this all simmer together for about 5 minutes while you prep the rest.
Mix together in a medium sized bowl ricotta, fresh spinach and shredded mozzarella. Do yourself a favor and just get your hands dirty. It's too difficult to use a spoon or fork in my opinion. When this is done, you're ready to assemble your layers. I like to use an oven ready lasagna noodle. I like Barilla's Oven Ready. I'll put just a little sauce on the bottom of a greased 8x10 pan. Layer the noodles, then the ricotta mixture, more sauce and more noodles, and try to layer evenly. Repeat layers. I usually get about 3-4 layers. I always reserve a little sauce for the top, and then top with a little more shredded cheese. Listen, if you're going through the trouble of making lasagna, don't try to skip on the cheese.
spinach ricotta lasagna
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced dried onion
Salt and pepper to taste
1 jar marinara sauce (or make fresh if you have time)
1 package of ready to bake lasagna noodles
1-2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup ricotta
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Optional: chopped green onion to top
Pre-heat oven to 375.
Bring saute pan to medium heat and brown ground beef, garlic and onion powder. Lightly season with salt and pepper to taste.
While beef cooks, mix together spinach, ricotta and shredded mozzarella in a small bowl. Do yourself a favor – just mix with your hands.
As the ground beef is nearly cooked, pour about 1-2 cups of sauce in. Use discretion to how saucy you like your lasagna. Let simmer for a few more minutes then turn off the heat.
Begin to layer. Sauce, noodle, ricotta mixture, sauce, repeat. Top with a little extra sauce and shredded cheese if you’d like.
Place in oven for about 30 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes and then serve and enjoy.
Any leftovers can stay in the refrigerator for about a week or make great leftovers if kept in the freezer.