Saturday, 21 November 2009

Spinach Lasagne with Friulano & Ricotta Cheeses

This is a dish that can be made ultra-decadent by using homemade spinach lasagne noodles, and cream instead of the milk. I didn't do that this time; there was too much else going on that was also plenty rich. One of these days I will though, and then I will post the recipe for spinach pasta. In the meantime, you can get ready-made spinach lasagne, and it's fine. This is a much simpler dish than the squash lasagne, but it was at least as popular, or more so. And why not? It's full of cheeeeeeese! And spinach too, of course.

Like the squash and hazelnut lasagne, I made this in advance and froze it, which worked beautifully. Edited: Nearly forgot! Presto Pasta here, we come. It's in Hawaii this week, at Kahakai Kitchen. Wish I was in Hawaii...

6 to 8 servings
2 1/2 hours - 1 1/2 hours prep time
- (but use your noodle and make it ahead of time)

Spinach Lasagne with Friulano and Ricotta Cheeses
Make the Filling:
1 kilo (2 pounds) fresh spinach
450 grams (1 pound) ricotta cheese
1 extra-large egg
1 cup whole milk or light cream
2 teaspoons rubbed oregano
2 teaspoons rubbed basil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wash and pick over the spinach, discarding any damaged or tough leaves and stems. Rinse it again. Put on a large pot of water to boil.

Working in batches, cook the spinach for a minute or two until well wilted. Transfer it with a slotted spoon to a bowl or sink of cold water to cool. When it is all cooked, lift it out and squeeze it fairly dry. Chop it as finely as you can manage. Put it in a large bowl.

Add the ricotta, egg, milk and seasonings and mix well. Set aside.

Assemble the Lasagne:
16 spinach lasagne noodles, homemade or dry
- it's always wise to cook a few extra though
450 grams (1 pound) Friulano cheese
OR a mixture of mozzerella and old Cheddar
2 or 3 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)

Cook the spinach lasagne for two-thirds to three-quarters of the recommended time. They should be just pliable. Drain them and rinse them in cold water at once. You do not need to do this, of course, if you are using fresh pasta.

Meanwhile, slice the Friulano fairly thinly.

Spread a little of the spinach mixture over the bottom of a 9" x 13" lasagne pan. Cover that with lasagne noodles, likely 4 of them. Spread with 1/4 of the remaining spinach mixture, and cover that with 1/4 of the sliced cheese. Continue making layers until you have used everything; you should end with a layer of the sliced cheese.

Toast the pine nuts, if you want to use them, in a dry skillet until just very lightly browned. Sprinkle them over the lasagne.

You can bake the lasagne at once, at 350°F for about 45 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. Cover with foil if it is browning too quickly. It should sit out for 10 or 15 minutes once baked in order to reach a contemplative state of mature balance and sophistication.

If you freeze the lasagne, it should be taken out to thaw 48 hours before baking. If you are baking the lasagne cold or refrigerated, and in a glass baking dish, it is wise to put it into a cold oven, then turn it on. Add an extra 15 minutes baking time, or so.

5 comments:

K said...

Hi,

I couldn't find your contact, so decided to leave you a message here. Just wanted to inform you that we've put together a list of Canadian food blogs and have included yours. Please have a look and let us know if you'd like any information to be changed. When you have a minute come check out other Canadian blogs similar to yours! Link: http://www.pho411.ca/blog/list-of-canadian-food-blogs/

I'd like to take this time to also ask for your support by adding us to your blogroll or links section, if you have one. That would be very much appreciated! We are: Broth Don't Lie http://www.pho411.ca/blog/

About Broth Don't Lie: BDL is a blog about Vietnamese food. We aim to inform all Canadians about different Vietnamese dishes that they could try at their local Vietnamese restaurants. We also have a goal of reviewing all Vietnamese restaurants in Canada. We hope to put together a database of restaurant reviews that all Canadians could refer to when they feel like trying a Vietnamese restaurant. If you are interested in lending us a hand with this project, please feel free to contact us.

-Pho411 Admin (admin@pho411.ca)

Ferdzy said...

Dear K;

Thank you kindly for including me in your list of Canadian bloggers, and I wish you much success with your interesting blog.

However, because you are writing about Vietnamese food in Canada, you would not fit in either the "local food here" catagory, nor the "it's local where they are" catagory.

Should a Vietnamese restaurant open up in my neck of the woods - one can always hope - I will certainly send you a review.

Joanne said...

Cheese makes everything taste good! I've never had friulano though. It will go on my list of cheeses to investigate.

I'm excited to see a homemade spinach lasagne sheet recipe! I want to try dabbling in homemade pasta at some point.

Love this dish.

Ruth Daniels said...

Looks most delicious, even without homemade pasta. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

Debinhawaii said...

It looks delectable--so green and gorgeous! Thanks for joining in PPN this week.

Aloha,

Deb