Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spinach & Beef Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my all-time favorite dishes, especially during fall. It's hearty. It's cheesy. It's a crowd pleaser. It's calorie free. I WISH. Hey, there is nothing wrong with having one of those "splurge" meals every once in a while, right? Tonight was one of those nights. I had a craving AND I had the ingredients on hand. All signs pointed to Y-E-S.

This recipe also gets bonus points because it cuts down on a couple of the steps by using oven-ready lasagna noodles and jarred tomato sauce. Don't judge! I like making my own sauce, but sometimes you just don't have the time (or the desire). Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think (I bet you won't be able to tell the difference)!

1 box oven-ready lasagna noodles
½ cup sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups raw baby spinach (or ½ pkg frozen spinach that has been thawed and drained)
1 lb ground beef
¼ lb mild sausage (this is not necessary, but does add a nice flavor)
1 jar basil marinara
1½ cups cheddar-mozzarella shredded cheese (or just mozzarella)
1 small container reduced fat ricotta cheese
1 egg
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
dash of red pepper flakes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375.

Step One
Sauté onion and garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil, 4-5 minutes or until translucent. Add in spinach and cook until reduced down.

Step Two
Add beef, sausage, oregano, salt, pepper & red pepper flakes; cook until no longer pink.

Step Three
Drain off most of the fat (leave a little for flavor). Pour in the jarred tomato sauce (saving ¼ cup to the side).

Step Four
(this can be done while meat is cooking) Beat the egg in a mixing bowl. Add in the ricotta, Parmesan & parsley. Mix well.

Step Five
Using a 9 x 13 glass pan, pour the remaining tomato sauce over the bottom. Layer 3-4 noodles (however many fit) across the bottom. Spread ricotta mixture, then later beef mixture and top with some shredded  cheese. Repeat this twice, ending with a little beef mixture on top and a layer of cheese.

Step Six
Cover with foil. Cook for 40-45 minutes. Remove foil and cook for 10-15 more minutes (or until a light golden brown).

Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with salad and warm crusty bread for a complete and delicious meal.

Enjoy, y'all!


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