Lasagna is a sacred dish in our family. We have it on special occasions or when sometimes when the family gets together on Sundays for dinner. The recipe is passed down by teaching the younger generation. Although the dish may be shared with others, the actual recipe itself may not. Pretty mysterious stuff :P
I have been taught by my Nana and mom how to make true lasagna, but, to be quite frank, it takes a heck of a lot of time. So, last week I opted for a quicker, healthier version to satisfy our craving.
I took this from my "Cook Yourself Thin" cookbook I got back in college. This vegetarian option has only 3 layers and uses no-bake pasta noodles to cut down on calories and time.
Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds cremini and/or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Kosher salt
- 1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta
- 3/4 cup skim milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 cups shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided evenly
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more to garnish
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 cups tomato sauce
- 12 sheets no-cook lasagna noodles
- Nonstick cooking spray
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and thyme and season with salt. Cook until softened, about 10 to 12 minutes.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, milk and eggs, and stir. Add 1 cup of mozzarella, Parmesan, spinach, basil and oregano; season with salt and pepper and stir to incorporate.
4. Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9-x-13-x-2-inch pan. Layer 4 sheets of lasagna on top, slightly overlapping. Spread half the ricotta mixture on the noodles, and cover with half the mushroom mixture. Top with 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce. Repeat with 4 sheets of lasagna pasta, remaining ricotta mixture, remaining mushrooms and 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce. Cover with the remaining 4 sheets of lasagna, the remaining cup of tomato sauce and the remaining mozzarella cheese.
5. Lightly coat a sheet of aluminum foil with nonstick spray and cover the uncooked lasagna, spray-side down. Bake at 375 degrees, covered, until bubbly, about 45 minutes. Remove foil from lasagna and increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Cook until cheese browns, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Serve warm and garnish with basil.
I heated up some more tomato sauce to pour over the slices after the lasagna was finished baking. It came out a tad dry, so I recommend doing so in case you like yours more saucy.
The mushrooms provided the meatiness a traditional lasagna offers, while saving you on calories. The spinach ricotta filling holds true to traditional lasagna so the flavors are still there.
I will definitely use no-bake noodles again. They are so convenient! Have you worked with no-bake lasagna before? What were your results?