Raiding the larder of ideas.

What one family eats, plans to eat, dreams of eating. Plus, other food and kitchen-related stuff from the home of steak-and-potatoes, pie and fresh green beans from the garden.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Chicken/Spinach Lasagna

On Fridays, the folks and I have friends come over to sup with us, and about every third week, the Bat lets me take over the menu. This week, we're having a nice, big batch of Lasagna. I particularly like making this, now that there are several pasta manufacturers who produce noodles you don't have to boil first, before cooking things up. Of course, were I hard-core, I'd be making my own, but then, that would mean being on my feet more than my mutilated knee allows. Ergo, the Barilla (or, whoever's on sale. I'm not really an obsessive chef in that regard).

So, tonight's dinner is now resting in the refrigerator while I rest in the comfy chair and let my cat groom my face (thank the powers that be for Diphenhydramine HCl). It will get popped into the oven at the beginning of "Jeopardy!"

Meanwhile, here am I, blogging it up.

For Denephew.

BTW-- I sometimes use cheats. Aldi stores now carry some very nice sauces, and Grandessa spinach and cheese spaghetti sauce is a quick fix if you don't feel like going the extra steps. It provides just the right amount of spinach so that it doesn't overpower the rest of the ingredients in the lasagna itself.

Chicken/Spinach Lasagna
1 1/2 lbs. roasted or grilled chicken, skin and bones removed, chopped coarsely
1/4 lb. fresh spinach (or thawed from frozen), chopped and stems removed, steamed until completely tender
1/2 lbs. fresh mushrooms, cut in half and then sliced fairly thinly
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 sweet yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-centimeter squares
3 cups your preferred meatless spaghetti sauce (whether you choose to make from scratch or buy a jar of something is up to you)
16 oz. tomato sauce
24 oz. ricotta cheese
2 medium eggs
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. roasted garlic, minced or crushed
1 package no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded/grated mozzarella cheese (more for the top, if you go that way)
1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan or "Italian Blend" cheese
olive oil for cooking


In a saucepan, stir-fry mushrooms in olive oil, on high temperature, until the moisture mostly evaporates and the mushrooms begin to brown and crisp a bit. Add in both spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce, then chicken, onions. Squeeze liquids out of spinach, stir into sauce. Allow to simmer about an hour, stirring occasionally, until most of the chicken turns to shreds. Remove from heat, add sweet pepper.

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F.

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix together ricotta cheese, oregano, basil, garlic and eggs.

In a 10"x 14" x 2" lasagna/roasting pan, ladle enough meat sauce to cover the bottom of the pan (about 1 cup).

Without overlapping them, lay three lasagna noodles on top, spoon and spread ricotta mixture over the noodles to just cover them (about 1/2 to 2/3 cups). Ladle some more meat sauce over that, to just cover. Sprinkle a layer of mozzarella.

Top with three more noodles, repeat layers of ricotta, meat sauce, mozzarella, and once again with everything. The last row of noodles need only be topped with the remaining meat sauce and a generous layer of mozzarella, then sprinkled with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil (shiny side down), put in oven to roast 30 minutes. Remove foil. Continue to cook another 15 or 20 minutes, until the top is bubbly and brown.

Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

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