Sunday, September 12, 2010

Spinich Lasagne

On Friday night, I had my three designing women and one man friends for dinner. I hadn't had a dinner party for more than 2 for so long (and then the two are our closest friends.) My dining chairs were shredded from years of use - the horsehair stuffing poking your legs. My bedroom was a joke since we moved furniture to new york - just a mattress on the floor on an old Chinese rug like a hippie flophouse. So, nothing like a party to make you pull it together. I had some orange velvet fabric sitting around and got the chairs recovered. Got a frame for the bed so it looks like grown ups sleep there and got 2 side tables from Room & Board ($179 each!

I added some nicer bedding from Restoration Hardware (their linen collection is just great!) So, I finally felt good about having guests and sat at the table for dinner (instead of around the coffee table) for the first time in about 3 years. It was a lovely evening with oodles of laughter - provided primarily by dear friend Andrew Flesher. (His comment when he walked into my kitchen....and saw the "Ivy" wallpaper..."Oh, that vintage Waverly?" Yes, it is. :-)

Here is my lasagne recipe which they asked for. Cin cin to my dear friends.

These first ingredients from Broder's Deli in Minneapolis:

3 sheets of fresh egg lasagne pasta

3 containers (pints) sugo betti (their house made red sauce)

3 containers (pints) shredded mozzarella

2 pints ricotta fresca

1 of the Broder's packages of parmaggiano reggiano

1 of the pesto if you like it added.

Then, I get from the coop

1 very large bunch of spinich or two smaller ones

Italian parsley


How to put it together:

Use a deep 9 x 13 pan.

Drain the ricotta. I used about 1.5 - 2 containers. Mash it up.
Add 3 eggs and whip it together with a wooden spoon.
Add the bag of parmesan. (about 1/2 cup)
Add some chopped parsley.
Add pepper - a bit more than usual.

Put a bit of olive oil in bottom of baking dish.
Put the first piece of pasta down - you will have to cut it to fit. But make it a little big because it will shrink slightly.
Cover it with a really thin layer of pesto if you want (a little goes a long way) or you can skip this entirely.
With a big metal spoon put the ricotta mixture in a thin layer - use about 1/3 of it.
Now layer spinch - (washed, de-stemmed and only slightly chopped - not too much)
Add one container of the sugo betti.
Add about one container of mozzarella.

Repeat 2 more times.

I add a drizzle of olive oil to the top. you can add a little pepper or parsley if you like.

COVER WITH FOIL - but make it like a tent so it does not stick to the cheese.

Put in 350 for about 1 hour 15 minutes.
Then raise the temp to 375.
Take the foil off and cook another 15 min until it looks perfectly browned.
Take it out. Turn the oven off and let the temp start to go down.

I put it back in the oven to just sit for an hour as the oven is cooling. (JUst don't leave it in when it is super hot = you don't want to burn the cheese.)

When you warm it up again, cover it with foil. Warm in 350 oven for about 20 = 30 min.


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