When Callan was born (almost two years ago!), someone from church brought me this lasagna with the recipe attached. I thought it was a very nice lasagna, but not remarkable. But my children thought it was the BEST EVER. I’m not kidding. I don’t know why they love it so much, but I decided that it would need to be tweaked and added into our meal rotation. I think the kids like how simple it is – it’s not too saucy, doesn’t have any heavy chunks of tomatoes or meat or even veggies (the spinach is soft, like the cheese), and is generous with the cheese. I love how easy and fast it is to throw together – being meatless, there’s nothing to pre-cook, and no need to pre-boil the noodles – and everything can be bought at the store for assembly at home. It makes a great meal for new moms or those too in the throes of illness/death to cook; just assemble and write the baking directions on the aluminum foil. Here’s the final recipe I came up with.
- 1 10oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
- 2 cups + ½ cup shredded mozzarella, divided
- 1 pound (16 oz.) small curd cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¾ tsp dried oregano (also parsley, thyme, basil, etc.)
- 1 jar pasta sauce (1 lb. 10 oz. size) or 1 quart home canned tomato puree/sauce
- 1 16 oz. box lasagna noodles, uncooked (regular, not no-boil)
- ¼ cup (or to taste) parmesan cheese
- Grease 9” x 13” baking dish.
- Combine spinach, 2 cups mozzarella (reserving ½ cup mozzarella for later), cottage cheese, egg, and seasonings.
- Layer as follows, three times:
- Generous ½ cup sauce
- 1/3 of cheese mixture
- Top with fourth and final layer of noodles, then remaining tomato sauce, then ½ cup of mozzarella, then parmesan cheese.
- Rinse tomato sauce jar with ½ – 1 cup water and pour around edges of dish.
- Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
- There are usually 20 noodles in a standard lasagna noodle box, so use five per layer. I had to turn the fifth perpendicular to the other four and break it to fit it.
- Experiment with other Italian-style cheeses, and do try freshly grated parmesan, if available.
- Don’t tell anyone, but I rarely thaw and drain my spinach. I simply throw the bag on the tile floor a few times until there are no chunks, then mix it in with the cheese as is.