I mentioned that I made Lemon ricotta cookies with lemon glaze because we bought ricotta cheese to make lasagna then we changed it to spinach lasagna which does not use ricotta cheese. So I thought that I would share the spinach lasagna recipe. We really like this lasagna even though it takes some time to make. There are only two of us so we freeze the rest and have an easy dinner on days that we have a lot going on and not much time to cook.
1 pound ground beef
1 /4 pound fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion. Chopped
1 can (28 ounce) Italian plum tomatoes, un-drained
1 1 /4 teaspoon salt, divided
3 /4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
3 /4 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed
1 /4 teaspoon pepper, divided
9 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 /8 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter, divided
1 /8 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups milk
1 1 /2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (about 6 ounce), divided
1 /2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
For meat sauce, crumble ground beef into large skillet over medium heat. Brown 8 to10 minutes, stirring to separate meat, until meat loses its pink color. Spoon off and discard fat.
Stir in mushroom, onion and garlic; cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until onion is soft.
Press tomatoes and juice through a sieve into meat mixture; discard seeds.
Stir in 3 /4 teaspoon salt, oregano, basil and 1 /8 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil over medium high heat; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes more until sauce thickens. Set aside.
Add lasagna noodles to large pot of boiling water, 1 at a time, allowing noodles to soften and fit into pot. Cook 10 minutes or just until al dente. (Or use oven ready noodles)
Drain noodles; rinse with cold water. Drain again; hang individually over pot rim to prevent sticking. Set aside.
For cheese sauce, melt 1 /4 cup butter in medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in flour, remaining
1 /2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1 /8 teaspoon pepper and nutmeg; cook and stir until bubbly. Wisk in milk; cook and stir until sauce thickens and bubbles. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella and 1 /4 cup Parmesan cheeses. Stir until smooth. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread remaining 1 tablespoon butter on bottom and sides of 12×8 inch baking dish. Spread noodles in single layer on clean kitchen (not paper) towel. Pat noodle dry.
Arrange 3 lasagna noodles in single layer, overlapping slightly, in bottom of baking dish.
Top with 1 /2 of reserved meat mixture; spread evenly. Spread 1 /2 of reserved cheese sauce over meat mixture in even layer.
Repeat layer once, using 3 noodles, and remaining meat mixture and cheese sauce. Sprinkle spinach over cheese sauce in even layer; pat down lightly. Arrange remaining 3 lasagna noodles over spinach.
Mix remaining 1 /2 cup mozzarella and remaining 1 /4 cup Parmesan cheese in cup. Sprinkle cheeses evenly on top of lasagna to completely cover lasagna noodles
Bake 40 minutes or until top is golden and edges are bubbly. Let lasagna stand 10 minutes before serving.