Someday I’d like to host the “Great Minnesota Lasagna Competition” at the state fair. It’s a dish we all know and love. It’s one of the few leftover dishes I’ll eat. Â And weÂ all have our own go-to recipe for the World’s Best Lasagna.Â Seriously. A Great Minnesota Lasagna Competition is the answer to all the planet’s troubles.
If I could enter my own Minnesota Lasagna Competition, today’s Spinach Week recipe would be my blue-ribbon winner. I start with a simple ricotta and parmesan filling and my homemade tomato sauce. Add in a box of Dakota Grower’s lasagna noodles, cooked until just al dente. Â Then hit it with my favorite, thick layers of fresh green spinach and rich, earthy portobello. mushrooms. If there was a dating website for lasagna ingredients, spinach and portabellas would be the couple living happily ever after on the billboard. They’re the best hook-up any lasagna dish could ask for.
Oh, before I run off for the day…have to give you my dirt on spinach:
- Most experts consider spinach to be a superfood. It’s dark green leaves are high in Vitamins A, C, and fiber. They’re also packed full of phytochemicals (a fancy word for foods that kick butt in the good-for-you department).
- The USDA nutritional info for spinach indicates that a serving of boiled spinach has more iron than a hamburger patty. But Popeye and his big muscles already taught you that, didn’t he?
- Freezing spring spinach is a cinch. Wash throughly and remove any tough stems. Blanch for 2 minutes, cool in ice water for 2 minutes, dry thoroughly and place in a freezer-safe container.
1 box of lasagna noodles, prepared to package directions
1 pound of spinach leaves, washed and stems removed
24 oz. of your favorite tomato pasta sauce
For the Filling
1 pound portobello mushrooms, washed and sliced
24 oz. low-fat skim ricotta
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. shredded parmesan cheese
1. Pre-heat oven to 350Â°F. Lightly spray a 9 x 13″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Drain lasagna noodles and wash spinach. Set aside while heating pasta sauce on stove until just warm.
3. Mix all filling ingredients in a large bowl until just combined.
4. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of sauce on the bottom of the dish and spread evenly with a spoon.
5. Begin the layers in this way: A layer of lasagna noodles 3-4 across the bottom of the dish, topped with spinach leaves 1-2 leaves thick. Evenly spread 1/4 of the cheese filling over the spinach leaves (easiest to do with the back of a spoon). Top with 1/4 of the sauce.
6. Repeat the layers 4 more times until all noodles have been used. End with sauce. You may also sprinkle shredded parmesan and mozzarella over top for added cheesy goodness.
7. Bake for 30-45 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve warm and then enjoy the leftovers from the refrigerator!