Lasagna is the ultimate comfort food and it’s probably one of the first things I learned to make. My mom (a fabulous Chinese cook) and I just followed the instructions on the side of a box of dry lasagna sheets, using jarred sauce. These days, I always make my own sauce, and after several variations, I have to dub this one my favorite, Beef and Spinach Lasagna. This is still a fairly classic tasting lasagna. It’s just that I like mixing spinach into the cheese mixture. Isn’t it wonderful when the healthier twist tastes better?

beef and spinach lasagna 6

*Update 9/23/09: My mom asked me to make her this lasagna so while I’m at it, I figured, I’d take new pictures, better pictures! (The first two and last picture are new.) Also, I wanted to note that Hungry Crasian pointed out that you don’t need to buy “no boil” lasagna sheets. I tested it out this time and she’s right, the regular kind does work fine. (Remember to cover the lasagna in aluminum foil before baking.)

fork full of lasagna 3

Beef and Spinach Lasagna
~makes one 9×13 tray

Meat Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 pound 11 ounces (90% lean) ground beef
  • 1 (28oz) can crushed tomato with basil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf

Cheese & Spinach Filling

  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, blanched, drained and cooled
  • 1 pound shredded whole milk mozzarella, divided
  • 1 pound whole milk ricotta

Assembly

  • 9×13 baking dish
  • 1 box lasagna sheets (I’ve used 8×4 and regular, both work)

*note: the lasgana sheets I used are made for 8×8 pan but I wanted to make more so I made a 9×13. It worked fine though.

Instructions -

Meat Sauce (can be made a day or two ahead and refrigerated, warm before using):

1. Heat oil in a medium pot on medium high heat. Stir in onions and soften for about a minute. Add carrots and stir around for another minute. Stir in tomato paste until well distributed.
2. Add ground beef and stir around until browned, about 5 minutes.
3. Add crushed tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring to boil. Stir and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Remove from heat and remove bay leaf. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F while meat sauce cools a bit.

meat sauce


Cheese & Spinach Filling
:

1. Ring out spinach with paper towels.
2. In a medium sized bowl , combine spinach, 8 ounces of mozzarella, and ricotta.

Assembly

1. Spread 1 cup of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan.

2. Lay 4 sheets (or 3 if using the regular size) of lasagna down. See pic.

first lasagna sheet layer

3. Spread 1/3 of cheese and spinach filling on top of lasagna sheets. Spread a little more than 1 cup of meat sauce on top.

first cheese layer

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 two more times. Lay another layer of lasagna sheets on top. Cover with remaining meat sauce. Spread remaining mozzarella on top.

assembled

5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and bake for another 5 minutes. Serve.

Beef and Spinach Lasagna
This keeps well in the fridge and freezes well. You can reheat piece by piece in the microwave. It’s a really awesome dish to have sitting in the fridge.
beef and spinach lasagna 3

posted by jessica at 08:56 AM Filed under Italian, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.