Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Magic Spinach and Cheese Lasagna

Hello all!

So lovely to see you again! I don’t have a good excuse for my lapse. I wish I did. I wish I could tell you about how fine the powder was snowboarding Bariloche, tipsy wine tastings in Mendoza, or climbing Machu Picchu at dawn—but those things only happened in my imagination. Instead I could tell you about how first I was sick, and then had a visitor, and then the internet went out. I could tell you about my crazy schedule teaching at elementary schools, high schools, and the college. I could tell you about what a chub-a-lub I've been turning into and how I swear every time I go near the kitchen, my thighs grow a little just on principle! But what’s important is: I’M BACK! And I have a whole menu of exciting stuff planned! Starting with this fantastic lasagna! What's magical about it you ask? It's happens to be another triple-threat: It's the quickest lasagna I've ever made, it's easy (I promise), and it's actually really healthy, packed with veggies and low-fat.(which is important...for the chubster over here!)

Never-Know-It’s-Low-Fat Speedy Spinach and Cheese Lasagna
(Makes about 8 servings)
2 tablespoons olive oil + 1 tablespoon
1 onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 cups tomato puree
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1 lb (about 2 cups) low fat ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon dried parsley or thyme

9 no-boil lasagna noodles
3 cups fresh spinach, torn into bite sized pieces
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 to 3 minutes, then add onions and sautee about 5 minutes. Add carrots, and sautee about 3 more minutes. Add tomato puree, salt, and garlic powder, and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium low.

While it’s simmering, combine ricotta, parmesan, egg, and herbs in a large bowl. Grease your baking dish with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. This is when I tear the spinach and shred the cheese. The sauce should cook a total of about 10 to 15 minutes, but whenever you’re done with everything else, go ahead and remove the sauce from heat.

Then bring together all the ingredients for assembly: sauce, ricotta mixture, noodles, spinach, and the mozzarella cheese for topping. Start by ladling enough of the sauce into the bottom of the baking dish to barely cover it, then put in a layer of noodles. Next, add the spinach, then another layer of noodles. Add another layer of sauce, then the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with one more layer of noodles, then any remaining sauce, and top it off with the shredded mozzarella.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Devour.


  1. I adore lasagna, especially when it's packed with spinach or swiss chard. This recipe is quite similar to one I make (although I can't claim that my version is low fat!). I was planning to make empanadas de verdura with that bundle of spinach in the fridge, but now I'm not so sure...

  2. Well this is definitely proof that lasagna does not have to have meat in order to be tasty. The idea of spinach and all those cheeses sounds tasty. I will need to try this-thanks for sharing-yum!

  3. I'm still just so impressed with your photography. A mediocre photo could make this look less appetizing, but your mad camera skillz make this look good enough to eat off the screen. :)

  4. I mentioned this dish and DDL in passing in my 3rd novel. Thanks for the inspiration! I'd give you more credit, but Toarmina's is already the pricey Italian restaurant on the waterfront, so you know there is much love for you in the world inside my head. ♥

  5. Aw, Lizette!!! There are bushels of love for you in my world as well! <3 <3 <3

  6. This lasagna looks great.....I've been looking to make some more vegetarian dishes.

  7. I love lasagna and it's lovely to see it made with different ingredients, can't wait to try.