It is often the case that I will get a craving, and I will repeatedly plan and work out exactly how I will do it in my head for a few days. In part, it is because I don’t have a car and I only go grocery shopping once a week. It is also because there are only a few days that finish classes early enough to cook dinner and then eat at a reasonable time.
The point of this is that I have been fantasizing about some sort of spinach lasagna for a few days. I went through quite a few recipes trying to figure something out, and nothing was quite what I was imagining. Therefore… I just made it up. I had planned to just throw some stuff together, using some no-boil noodles, but I threw that out the window when I saw all the tasty looking spinach noodles. So, here is my spinach lasagna adventure!
21/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp oil
3 Tbsp cooked, drained spinach (I’d use more if I were to redo this…)
I cooked half a bag of frozen spinach in the microwave, and just pulled a few tablespoons worth out for the pasta
Make a pile of flour on your counter, create a crater (like a volcano!) sprinkle in salt, carefully crack in your eggs into the pit, and add the oil and spinach. Carefully break the yolks and mix them together, progressively adding flour until the dough comes together. Knead into a ball, divide into quarter and let rest under a damp towel.
Run about an eighth of the whole ball through the machine, down to the second to last setting. Cut into lasagna noodle sizes. Boil about 3-5 min, drain and let cool on a towel (to dry a bit…)
Sauté small cubes of chicken (about 1 breast worth) in olive oil, salt and pepper until cooked.
Use the rest of the frozen spinach and mix with a 16 oz tub of ricotta (I’d suggest perhaps using more spinach then I did…)
Grate 8 oz Mozzarella cheese (or more if you like it extra cheesy)
I was originally going to try to make a béchamel, but it was too bland.
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2-3 cup milk
¾-1 cup parmesan cheese
Make a roux, add the milk, melt the cheese in, salt and pepper.
The problem with me trying to explain a sauce and the quantities is that I learned how to cook from my mom. She has only ever made one dish in my memory that is actually the same every time. Don’t get me wrong – her cooking is amazing, it just isn’t exactly the same. Most of my techiques (especially the French ones) include eye-balling it. This isn’t helpful if you don’t already know how to do stuff. So, tough noogies. I am more than happy to teach, in person, those who ask me to.
Put a little sauce on the bottom of your pan (I used a casserole dish), add a layer of noodles, ricotta, sauce, noodles, sauce, mozzerella, noodles, sauce, chicken, noodles, ricotta, sauce, noodles, suace, mozzerella, noodles, mozzerella.
This is, in fact, a mere approximation of how I layered it. It could be compleatly wrong. I honestly didn’t pay that close of attention when I did it, and as I made up the recipe I can just quote the instruction that I skipped from the recipe I used. Use your head, make some guesses, use up the supplies you have, I’m sure it’ll be fine. It’s how I do it.
Bake in a 375* oven for about 50 minutes. Take out, and let cool.
Feed to your friends!
(The general consensus from The Roomie and The Friend was that it was quite tasty – they kept going back for more)
I had more pasta dough than I needed for the lasagna, so I just turned it into spinach linguine, and hung it over my rolling pin between my chairs.