Early Light: Do I smell lasagna?


Today is Wednesday, July 29. There are 155 days remaining in 2009.

Did you know that today is National Lasagne Day? Sure, it’s July. It’s hot and humid. Cooking up a pan of Lasagna will make the kitchen a lot hotter. But as it cooks, the smell will waft throughout the house. Your mouth will begin to water. When dinner time arrives, you will have a huge appetite for a huge piece of lasagna. Of this, you can be certain.

We all would eat lasagne more often, but this culinary work of art, made with loving hands, takes time to make and bake.  But I have a “not from scratch” version that you can whip up in minutes and keep your kitchen cool.

Not Yo’ Mama’s Lasagne


“Not Yo Grandmother’s” Lasagne

Prep: 20 min
Cook: 45 min
You Will Need
3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
4 cups bottled chunky tomato pasta sauce
12 oven-ready, no-boil lasagna noodles (from 8-ounce package)
2 boxes (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

What to Do
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In medium bowl, stir together ricotta, Parmesan, and egg.
3. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce over bottom of baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles side by side in dish. Spread 1 1/4 cups ricotta mixture over top of noodles. Top with a third of the spinach. Repeat layering two more times with sauce, noodles, ricotta mixture, and spinach. Top with remaining 3 noodles. Spread remaining 1 cup sauce over top. Gently press lasagna noodles down into dish, so sauce comes up around sides. Cover dish with foil.
4. Bake 35 minutes. Uncover. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake until cheese is melted and filling is bubbly, about 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into rectangles.
Nutrition Information
Per serving: 456 calories, 26 g protein, 50 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat, 9g saturated fat, 72 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 1,009 mg sodium.  This may be easily adapted to a 16-ounce jar of pasta sauce, one box spinach, etc.

One thought on “Early Light: Do I smell lasagna?

  1. Can you use the canned spinach in these recipes? I caught some on sale and bought 3 or 4 cans and it’s just sitting in my pantry. Sometimes my husband likes it, but not often enough to eat this up!!

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