Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna

With all the festivities around, I plan to celebrate by preparing a different cuisine each weekend for my family and friends. Last weekend, I chose to go with the Christmas theme and decided to come up with recipes green, red and white in color. I whipped a quick Italian meal with the Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna and Watermelon and Feta Bites. 
Lasagna is an Italian classic, mainly layers of pasta sheets filled with meat and cheese. There are various vegetarian versions too, mainly with brinjal/ eggplant as its core ingredient. I tried to use Spinach instead, and what better than Ricotta to go with Spinach. I added a layer of Tomato and Basil sauce, to add a tangy and herby flavor to my lasagna.

Spinach and Ricotta Lasagana

  • 6, Ready to Bake Lasagna sheets
  • 1 cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, grated

For the Spinach Filling
  • 1 cup Spinach, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Oregano, finely crushed
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg Powder
  • 1 tsp Butter

For the Tomato Filling
  • 1 cup Tomato Puree
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Oregano, finely crushed
  • 5-6 Fresh Basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Oil
Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna

There are two main steps for the Lasagna, first, is preparing the sauces and then layering the whole lasagna

  • Take two saucepans, to prepare the sauces simultaneously. Take oil in one and butter in another.
  • When melted and heated, add garlic and fry till golden brown. 
  • In the pan with butter, add the spinach and cook well till the spinach loses water and it dry. Add salt, pepper, and oregano and keep aside for it to cool down. 
  • Once cool, add the Ricotta Cheese and mix well.
  • On the other hand, in the pan with oil. add the tomato puree when the garlic is fried. 
  • Let the tomato puree cook and then add the basil leaves, oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper. 
  • Do not add water and let the sauce thicken.
  • Once the sauces are ready, pre-heat the oven to 180 C / 350 F. 
  • Take a baking dish and grease it with butter. 
  • Take lasagna sheets and place them in the baking dish. Add a layer of the Spinach filling and then the Tomato Sauce. 
  • Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese over this. 
  • Repeat this process for at least up to three layers and add the remaining mozzarella cheese on the last layer. 

You can also add the remaining Tomato Basil Sauce across the Lasagna, if extra

Bake the Lasagna for 45 minutes and serve it with garlic bread.