Prepare this Vegetarian Lasagna with Spinach for a dinner that is sure to surprise: it won’t weigh you down, yet it’s wonderfully satisfying.
This meal in a pan won’t weigh you down yet is wonderfully satisfying, with fresh chard, spinach and a portobello mushroom for a dense, meaty texture. VEGETARIAN LASAGNA WITH SPINACH SERVES 6 TO 8
• 8 ounces dry lasagna noodles
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 cups chopped onions
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 large portobello mushroom, cleaned and chopped (about 2 cups)
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 5 to 6 cups (packed) coarsely chopped chard
• 5 to 6 cups (packed) chopped spinach
• 16 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
• 2 (26-ounce) jars pasta or spaghetti sauce*
• 1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
• 1/3 cup shaved fresh Parmesan cheese
* If sauce is thin, add 2 to 4 tablespoons tomato paste to thicken.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook lasagna noodles until almost al dente, about 1 to 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain; return noodles to the pot, cover with cool water and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add garlic, chopped mushroom, oregano and salt; cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in chard and spinach; sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until greens are slightly wilted and greatly reduced in volume. Set aside.
3. To assemble lasagna: Coat a 9-by-12-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange a layer of 3 to 4 noodles in bottom of dish. Top with 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella, followed by 1/3 of the greens mixture and 1/3 of the pasta sauce. Evenly dollop 1/3 of the ricotta over the sauce. Continue with another 1/3 layer of noodles, mozzarella, greens mixture, pasta sauce and ricotta. Evenly sprinkle chopped basil over the ricotta. Repeat with the last 1/3 layer of noodles, mozzarella, greens mixture, pasta sauce and ricotta.
4. Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top. Return to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the lasagna is bubbly. Let the Vegetarian Lasagna with Spinach cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Kris Wetherbee is a contributing editor who lives and tends her herbs in western Oregon.
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