Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What's Cooking Wednesday: Lazy Day Spinach Lasagna

Well, I've wanted to give myself a nudge to include more recipes here, and I've loved Bleeding Espresso-Sognatrice's contributions to What's Cooking Wednesday (a wonderful project started by Shan of Tales from a Fairy Blogmother). I love them for two reasons - one, Sognatrice does a simply bang-up job every week and her recipes tend to be both mouthwatering and beautiful and the second is that I simply suck as a photographer.

So playing along with Wordless Wednesday just doesn't do much for me.

Or for anyone who sees my pictures.

But I'm not the worst cook in the world, and so I want, at least for these first entries, to focus on recipes that are simple and healthy.

So without further babbling, here's my first contribution:

Lazy Day Spinach Lasagna

Lazy Day Spinach Lasagna was an invention of necessity: I love lasagna, when I want it, I want it quickly, ie. I don't want to fuss with cooking noodles that break, and I wanted a version that would fit in with my quest for weight loss. I actually make all kinds of lasagnas, up and down both the speed and calorie scales, but this one is delicious, easy and manageable on a diet, so... voila!

For any Italians who read this blog, please don't groan and run away in fright - this is very much an Italian-American fusion sort of thing. I know it's not the least authentic, but it's still a bit of alright. Serve with a good, green salad and either some hot, crusty bread and a glass of good chianti, or with just plain salad and water. It's all good. Enjoy!


1 16 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed
1 15 oz. container part skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup of shredded part skim mozzarella, divided
2 1/4 cups Classico Tomato Basil sauce, divided (if you can't get Classico, choose a pasta sauce that is 50 calories or less per 1/2 cup and 1 gram of fat or less)
2 TBS grated parmesan cheese
4 no cook lasagna noodles
cooking spray


1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Take spinach from package and dump onto a dish towel. Bundle up the spinach, take it over to the sink, and squeeze out all excess liquid.

3. Put spinach in food processor or blender, along with ricotta, egg, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup of the mozzarella. Pulse until everything is well blended.

4. To assemble lasagna: spray 8X8 cooking pan with cooking spray. Ladle 3/4 cup sauce on the bottom of the pan. Place two noodles across the bottom of the pan. Place the ricotta filling on the noodles and spread evenly. Pour another 3/4 cup of sauce over the ricotta. Place the remaining two noodles over the sauce. Pour the rest of the sauce over the noodles. Wrap tightly with foil.

5. Bake for 50 minutes at 375.

6. Take lasagna out of the oven (to keep the oven heated). Remove the foil. Sprinkle the top with the other 1/4 cup of mozzarella and the 2 TBS of grated parmesan.

7. Return the lasagna to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes, or until lasagna is bubbly and cheese is well melted.

8. Take lasagna out of the oven and let rest for 10 - 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 4, generously.

Nutritional Info. (courtesy of the recipe calculator function on

Fat: 14.8g
Carbohydrates: 33.5g
Protein: 24.5g

And finally, don't forget that tomorrow is turn-off-your-blog day for A Day to Read. Join Soccer Mom in Denial and all the rest of us who will stop tapping the keyboards for a day and turn pages, instead.

DAY TO READ campaign


Marianne Arkins said...

I LOVE spinach lasagna, but unfortunately, no one else in my family does.

And TURN OFF MY BLOG??? Are you out of your mind?? I can read AND blog... I've been doing it for three years now.

Turn off my blog... ((shakes head))...

anno said...

Yum! Spinach, cheese, and tomato sauce is one of my favorite combinations, and this one sounds terrific - thanks!

Anonymous said...

ok, get me a recipe for lasagna with no tomatoes and I'm all about it. I'm deathly allergic to tomatoes.

Oh yeah,and I used Wordless Wednesday to shamelessly promote the Day to Read campaign tomorrow.

Carol said...

One word: Yummy!


Flower Child said...

yummm.. I just made a lasagna last week and it was heavenly. as I'm a food snob (at least that's what my in-laws say) I would urge you to make some tomato sauce and store it in the freezer. better yet, make lasagna and store it in the freezer in individual containers - then you can have it anytime! middle of the night, breakfast... yum.

btw, love the idea of What's Cooking Wednesday as I am also a big cook and lousy photographer.

painted maypole said...


Madam Crunchypants said...

Wow - that sounds fantastic.

Yet another reason to buy a food processor!

Shan said...

Welcome to What's Cooking Wednesday. I always love to see a new face contributing recipes. Love lasagna in any and all forms. Looks great, thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious! I may have to try this one.

Jan said...

Excitingly different... thanks !

Mariposa said...

You're making me hungry...and I haven't eaten anything for the past 24 hours...

Julie said...

mmmm, sounds like something great to try!!!

Liz Dwyer said...

That's a fantastic recipe! Maybe I'll try to cook it for Sunday dinner.

And I had no idea about the "A Day to Read" thing! Oh well...but I did do some reading, of course!

La delirante said...

Hi! That spinach lasagna looks great! Once I try to prepare lasagna but it didn't really work out for me. I will give it another try I think :)

have a nice weekend!

Wholly Burble said...

Alright--to show my ignorance--what's kosher salt?

I have had spinach lasagna several times at restaurants, and have truly enjoyed it--but had no recipe for it. Thank you for sharing this one, I'm ready to saddle up and try it. I'll let you know how it goes. I have NO idea if I can find no cook noodles, but I'll look for them. I'm assuming if I cook some myself the recipe won't be damaged by it.

Jen said...

Thanks, everyone, for commenting. I'm a bit behind this week! Marianne, you can make this same recipe without the spinach, but substituting other veggies OR placing pepperoni slices on top of the cheese before the second layer of tomato sauce. Of course, it's not as healthy that way, lol.

Anno - it's SO easy - this is a go-to recipe for me.

CG - I think I wrote to you that you can use alfredo sauce instead of the tomato sauce.

Flower Child - I'd recommend joining What's Cooking Wed - I'd love to see your recipes. And I agree with you on the tomato sauce, too!

Thalia - you can also just use chopped spinach and simply mix the ingredients - that works fine, too. This just makes for a somewhat smoother consistency. Also, with chopped spinach, a blender works, too.

Shan - thank YOU for What's Cooking Wednesday - I'm excited to participate!

WB - Kosher salt is just large grained salt - it's fairly common where other salts are in the supermarket. You can actually use regular lasagna noodles and it should work. The no-cook noodles are just a bit smaller, which works well in these proportions.

Liz - Day to Read was the brainchild of Soccer Mom in Denial in response to the NEA's report of how we're not reading anymore. Maybe we'll do it again in the spring.

Leslie, Jan, Wendy - thanks!