Sunday, June 3, 2012

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna with White Sauce, Storage Wars, and a Float

Did you miss me?  ((I didn't think so...))  It has been a busy couple of days cooking for a wedding reception Saturday night.  The menu included Caprese Salad Skewers, Tomato Bruschetta, Pesto/Pine Nut/Parmesan Bruschetta, Italian Salad with Genoa Salami, Baked Penne with Italian Sausage in an Arrabiata Sauce, Vegetarian Lasagna, Roasted Veggies, and a Fruit Salad with a very light honey drizzle.  I learned a very important lesson about cooking in other people's homes this weekend:  Prior to pre-heating the oven, look inside it.  The home owner had stored 3 plastic cutting boards in the oven.  Luckily, I was looking for a cutting board shortly after turning the oven on, but holy shit, that could have been a total disaster.

Let's make a lasagna without melted plastic on the bottom of the oven...  Recipe adapted from

Picture via It Started with Yum...
What you need for 9 pieces:

1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
2 16-oz jars Alfredo-style pasta sauce ((I make my own, but none of y'all are probably going to do that))
1/2 cup skim milk
1 (8 ounce) package lasagna noodles ((Wild guess... you aren't going to make your own pasta noodles either so I'll omit that))
1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced  ((I used baby portobellos))
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees after looking in it to be sure it isn't being used as a book shelf or a shoe rack.

Spray a large glass pan thoroughly with cooking spray, being sure to get up the sides too.

Take your frozen spinach ((I use Trader Joe's organic)) and place it in a bowl.  Microwave it for 4 minutes on high.  Add the ricotta to the bowl and mix it with the spinach.  Lightly beat the egg and then add it to the spinach/ricotta.

In a separate bowl, combine the pasta sauce with the milk.  ((I have had Trader Joe's Alfredo Sauce in other things and it is pretty good...  I'm not really a cream sauce fan, so if you know of something better, leave the suggestion in the comments.))

Start layering.  From the BOTTOM ((what you put in first)) going UP ((last)):
1.  Enough sauce to cover the bottom of the dish
2.  3 uncooked lasagna noodles
3.  Half of the spinach/ricotta mixture
4.  Half of the chopped mushrooms
5.  3 more lasagna noodles
6.  About a cup and a half of the sauce
7.  The rest of the spinach
8.  The rest of the mushrooms
9.  3 more noodles
10.  The rest of the sauce
11.  The mozzarella ((if you use more than 1/2 a cup as called for, I won't feel bad))

Bake at 350 for about 60 minutes COVERED.  Turn off the oven, uncover, spoon some of the sauce that has accumulated around the edges over the top, and allow to continue baking with the oven off for another 15 minutes.  You can add little Parmesan on top at this point if you are feeling sporty.

Nutritional Info:  Um.  Well.  It's bad.  500 calories per piece if you slice it into 9 pieces and about 35 grams of fat.

This comes together fast if you use the pre-made ingredients.  I would say ten minutes to get it in the oven and 4 of that is nuking the spinach.  I made two huge pans of this yesterday and it evaporated into thin air.  I suspect it would reheat well too.


Lots to do today...  I need to go pick up the rest of the stuff from the reception, do something about the state of my own kitchen, finish the research for another article, and then hopefully do some sweet, sweet nothing.  A float in the pool may be just what the doctor ordered.


  1. So how do we see the articles that you're writing? Is there a link?

    1. I thought I replied to you this morning, but it apparently didn't go through... The short answer to that is that I don't own the rights to them because they are contracted out to various magazines/content providers. BUT when is there is something that isn't subject to the non-disclosure agreements, I will let you all know!