I haven’t shared a recipe in ages! That’s probably because I haven’t been making share-worthy food. Between playing “Campaign Manager” for my husband’s School Board race, training for the Chicago Marathon, taking on a new part time job and managing the craziness of a household of five, there simply hasn’t been time to get creative in the kitchen.
On this Election Day Eve I invited family over for dinner to map out our plan for manning all EIGHT polling locations in our school district tomorrow. I needed a meal that could feed a big group and that I could make ahead and pull out of the oven when my in-laws arrived. Leftovers for tomorrow night after standing outside holding my husband’s campaign signs all day would be pretty wonderful too. A warm and hearty lasagna seemed to fit the bill.
Since I don’t eat meat, I always stick to a vegetable based lasagna. I’ve made several recipes, but had never created a recipe of my own. This afternoon I was feeling inspired. Here’s what I came up with. All my toughest critics told me it was “a keeper” so I’m sharing it with you. Now, I’m not going to say this recipe is the “lightest” one I’ve ever created, but it is perfect for special occasions with family and would be great for upcoming holiday gatherings.
SPINACH AND MUSHROOM LASAGNA
2 Tbsp. EVOO
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1, 8 oz. container of mushrooms, sliced
5 cups of your favorite marinara (or my homemade recipe)
1 bag fresh baby spinach
1 tsp. dried basil
1, 5 oz. container of ricotta cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 egg yolks
1 box of lasagna noodles (whole wheat if possible)
a pinch of nutmeg
Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. I usually add a bit of EVOO to the water to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Drain and set aside. Once cooled enough to handle I hang them over the side of the colander or pot to keep them from sticking together.
Heat oil and butter in a large skillet. Add onions and garlic. Heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add mushrooms and cook until the water cooks out of them and until they are nicely browned. Add marinara and stir to combine. Gradually add spinach and let it wilt down into the sauce. Add basil. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes and set aside.
In a medium bowl combine ricotta, parmesan, 1 cup of mozzarella, egg yolks, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir well and set aside.
In a 13 x 9 casserole dish, spread a bit of the red sauce. Use three or four lasagna noodles to make a layer on the bottom. Cover with cheese sauce, red sauce, then noodles. Repeat ending with a final layer of noodles and the remaining sauce. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of basil.
Bake uncovered at 375 for 30 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.
Enjoy with family and friends!