Fresh Spinach Lasagna

spinach-lasagna-transRecipe for The FruitGuys by Rebecca Dienner

INGREDIENTS
4 cups fresh spinach, well-washed, de-stemmed, and roughly chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can crushed tomatoes (32-ounce)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup mushrooms, sliced about 1/8-inch thick (optional)
Olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
1 tablespoon each of fresh oregano, fresh parsley, and fresh thyme, minced (if fresh is unavailable, use 1 teaspoon each of dried, and add in with the tomatoes)
1 box no-boil lasagna noodles (9-ounce)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (see Cook’s note for vegan option)
1 container ricotta cheese (15-ounce)
1 egg
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  • To make the sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes.
  • Deglaze pan with 1/4 cup red wine.
  • Add canned tomato and tomato paste.
  • Mix in 1 teaspoon salt, lower heat, and cook sauce for 15 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add fresh herbs and adjust salt to taste. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • If using mushrooms: In a fresh skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add sliced mushrooms, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir frequently and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • In a mixing bowl, stir egg in with ricotta, remaining salt, and lemon zest.
  • Place about 1/4 cup tomato sauce to lightly cover the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan or dish.
  • Lay lasagna noodles down to cover the bottom, then add a layer of the ricotta mixture, half of the spinach, and half of the mushrooms (if using).
  • Repeat starting with another 1/4 cup marinara, noodles, ricotta, spinach, and mushrooms.
  • Add a final layer of noodles, the rest of the sauce, and cover with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • (If doing the vegan version, you may leave the top with just the marinara, or if there’s extra “ricotta,” distribute it evenly on top as best you can.
  • Cover loosely with tinfoil and bake for 35 minutes.
  • Remove tinfoil and bake for another 10 minutes or until bubbly and just starting to brown.
  • Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 6–8 as a main dish. Prep time, 30 minutes; cook time, 45 minutes.

Cook’s note: For vegan option, omit egg and cheese.

  • Boil 1/2 cup raw cashews in 2 cups of water until soft, about 2 minutes.
  • Drain cashews and blend in a high-speed blender with 1/4 cup lemon juice until mostly smooth.
  • Crumble and mash 14 ounces of firm tofu in a bowl.
  • Mix in 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, zest of one lemon, and blended cashews.
  • Use in place of ricotta cheese in this recipe.

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The FruitGuys Magazine is your source for workplace culture, trends and healthy living. Previously known as The FruitGuys Almanac, the Magazine began in 2007. Editors and contributors include nationally known journalists and food writers. Submissions and suggestions can be sent to the editor.