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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 9×13-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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