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A long, long time ago, far, far away

July 4, 2011
by Erin B

Once upon a time, many years ago, I had to go to an international themed potluck supper.  As a former professional sushi chef, of course I was invited to bring… lasagna.  Yeah.  I don’t get it either.  It was the World Cup (not this last one, one of the previous ones) and beer was involved.  (I was single and legal age and made sure I had a designated driver.  Girls, don’t you be getting any ideas!)

Anyway.  I had never really made lasagna before.  I had eaten a lot of BAD homemade lasagna (yes Mom, I’m taking to you) and I knew what I didn’t want.  I like spinach in lasagna but not frozen spinach.  I like a cheese layer, but not too much.  And you have to have a good tomato sauce which I still don’t know how to make from scratch.  I though, green, white and red…. just like the Italian flag.

Well, it didn’t turn out that way.  Everything bakes together and it ends up looking like … lasagna.  But it tasted good and I made it again a few time before getting bored with the recipe and not making it for years.  Then one day about a month ago V was saying she wants to learn to make vegetarian lasagna and I thought I should dust off the old stand by and see if it holds up to my memories.

Apparently, it does.  When we were menu planning this month, she asked for  it again.  Both girls like it and I have been asked to post the recipe.  So here you go:

Erin’s three color lasagna

1 bag of fresh baby spinach, washed and coarsely chopped

1/4 cup fresah basil leaves, also coarsely chopped

1 medium onion, coarsely … well, you get the idea

2 cloves garlic…. let’s say crushed, just to change it up a bit.

2 tablespoon of butter

2 cups cottage cheese, the wet kind, not the dry kind (if you don’t know what I mean by the dry kind – you are lucky!  If you do, you may have had bad 1970’s lasagna)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 jar marinara sauce

about 12 cooked lasagna noodles

1 cup shredded mozzarella

Directions:

Prep your lasagna pan with some non-stick spray and 3 noodles as your base layer

In the big cast iron casserole wilt the spinach and basil in half the butter with the garlic.  Keep it moving, we just want it wilted not stemmed or cooked.  As soon as it is hot and wilty, add to the lasagna pan try to get sort of even coverage.  Top with three more noodles.

In to the same casserole that you just emptied (other wise this takes too many dishes) saute the onion in the rest of the butter.  Once the onion is translucent add the cottage cheese and the parm and heat to a gentle simmer.  Allow to cool and layer into the lasagna pan.   Top with more noodles.  This may seem silly to heat and cool the cheese layer, but other wise you have big chunks of cottage cheese curd and I hate that texture.

Open a jar of plain tomato sauce or marinara sauce and pour onto the lasagna.  Top with the last three noodles and the shredded cheese.  Bake at 350F for … about 45 minutes until it is hot all the way through and the cheese is melty.  Let stand 10ish minutes so you don’t burn your mouth.  Serve with salad and soccer.

 

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