lunchbox life: lazy spinach lasagna

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Let me just say that some Sundays are perfect for lunchbox prep: I’ll have the whole day to run errands and cook as I please, get the creative juices flowing, and come up with something novel or out of the box.  Today was not one of those Sundays.  We had a lovely weekend in Helen for a friend’s wedding, rushed back to town this afternoon and went straight to our Sunday TV Dinner Group for a viewing of episode 4 of True Detective, and while were there had an absolutely delicious, handcrafted, authentic lasagna made by our friend Adam.  He made his own pasta, sauce, and meatballs, and it was glorious.  By the time we got home, I checked our CSA delivery box for inspiration and found some gorgeous large, leafy spinach.  This type is very different from your standard plastic bag or box of baby spinach, but you could certainly use that here.  I thought back to one of first dishes Alex made for me: spinach lasagna.  At this point, opportunity met inspiration, but I knew that I didn’t have the time or energy do a homemade lasagna justice, so that’s why you’re getting my quick and easy, shortcuts included recipe.  One of the biggest shortcuts is the no boil lasagna noodles.  They’re really pretty good and they’ll save you a lot of time.  Another shortcut is the crushed tomatoes.  For a sauce like this, I’d normally doctor it up with some roasted garlic, herbs, and red pepper flakes, but the mildness of the tomatoes works well here with the creaminess of the ricotta and mozzarella and the infusion of the garlic in the filling.

This recipe is also great because once you quickly assemble the lasagna and place it in the oven, you can do other Sunday night rituals (laundry, shower, organization for the week, etc.).  I’ve cut this lasagna into six pieces, but you could certainly make your pieces larger or smaller depending on your appetite.

Lazy Spinach Lasagna

4 no cook lasagna noodles

28 oz. crushed tomatoes

1 1/2 lb. part-skim mozzarella, sliced 1/4-inch thick

32 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese

3 to 4 cups spinach, torn into pieces

1 egg

1 tsp. salt

3 garlic cloves, minced or grated

Shredded parmesan cheese, for topping

Heat the oven to 375 F.  Soak the lasagna noodles in warm water for about 4 minutes, then remove from water and set aside.  In a medium sized bowl, mix the ricotta, spinach, egg, salt, and garlic until evenly combined.  In an 8×8 baking dish, place one of the lasagna sheets on the bottom and spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture onto it, then add about 1/4 of the mozzarella, then about 1/4 of the crushed tomatoes.  Repeat x2, then on top of the fourth lasagna sheet, spoon on the last 1/4 of the tomatoes and top with the last 1/4 of the mozzarella.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until dish is bubbling and cheese begins to turn golden.  Let rest for at least 30 minutes before cutting into serving pieces.  Top with shredded parmesan and enjoy!

 

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