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Monday, June 15, 2015

Florentine Lasagna

Florentine Lasagna seems much more appealing and appetizing than Spinach Lasagne for some reason. Funny that. 'Florentine' is just a fancy way of saying 'made with spinach.' It's all in how you market it!



Florentine Lasagna has been a favorite at our family's dinner table for many years. Lasagna used to be such a labor intensive (almost miserable) dish to prepare because there was so much prep work to get each of the 'layers' in order. For me, the most miserable layer to prepare: the lasagna noodles. Dragging out the huge stock pot to boil the noodles, then rinsing cooked noodles with cold water and laying flat on wax paper to prevent noodles from sticking to each other...ugh! It wears me out just thinking about it.

Thankfully, talented food scientists at pasta manufacturers have been hard at work and have successfully developed 'Oven-Ready' or 'No Boil' lasagna noodles. This exciting product is on the supermarket shelves just ready to be placed in your lasagna. As the name suggests, no boiling required!

Being the food snob that I am, I prefer the traditional noodles to their more convenient counterpart. It could be psychological, but I think the boiled noodles have a better texture than the no-boil variety. Let me know if you are willing to bake two lasagnas side by side, one with the traditional noodles and one with the no-boil noodles. I'm happy to be a taste tester to compare!

Others that eat at the same table as me (i.e. my family) do not seem to notice the difference. For that reason, I am happy to prepare lasagna with no boil noodles.




INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 jars (or cans) of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 24 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 10-ounce frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 12 ounce package of no boil lasagna noodles

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. 
  2. Prepare 10.5 x 14.75-inch glass baking dish with baking spray. (A 9 x 13-inch pan is a more common size and could also be used, but it would be a tight fit.)   
  3. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic cloves and onion.  Saute until onions are tender, approximately 5 - 8 minutes.  
  4. Add marinara sauce, oregano and basil to cooked onions.  Simmer 20 minutes to blend the flavors.  
  5. Combine ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, spinach and nutmeg. 
  6. Spread 1 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of baking dish. 
  7. Layer half of the lasagna noodles followed by half the ricotta cheese mixture, half the remaining marinara sauce and half of the shredded mozzarella cheese.  Repeat layers.
  8. If desired lasagne may be refrigerated overnight. (This is my preference because flavors seem to be more developed.)
  9. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil. Remove foil and continue to bake until hot and bubbly and noodles are tender when pierced with a fork, approximately 15 - 20 additional minutes.  Let stand 10-15 minutes prior to serving.  

8 comments:

Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg said...

A lovely pasta dish! I want to try this soon. :)

Oriana from Mommyhood's Diary said...

We love Lasagna!! We need to try your recipe soon =)

grace said...

it does sound much more classy! i much prefer this type of lasagna over the heavy, sauce-and-cheese-laden variety. beautiful!

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Lasagna is always such a huge hit at our house and your looks absolutely wonderful with all that spinach, ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella!
Great recipe - thanks for the inspiration!
Andrea

Sarah @ Savoring Spoon said...

Yum! What a classic. I agree, the noodles can be very difficult to prepare. I like using the no-boil ones too for simplicity.

Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks said...

OMG now that I have discovered no boil noodles I'm never going back! Market that spinach because this is totally the way to go! Yum!

Gloria Baker said...

I love lasagne! and this look absolutely delicious!!!

Geraldine Saucier said...

Lasagna is a family favorite. Love this recipe. Thanks for sharing:)