Spinach-Herb Lasagna

"Spinach-Herb Lasagna," from Make It Like a Man!

This spinach-herb lasagna clearly shows the influence of Lidia Bastianich’s recipes, and I’m completely cool with that. She’s awesome. It’s a white lasagna, heavy with spinach, loaded with cheese, and it has a thin striation of smoky bacon.

What you need to serve 12 more than generously:

½ lb smoky, peppered bacon
1 large, white onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 eggs
1½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 lbs ricotta, strained overnight
6 oz. mascarpone
1 package of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
4 cups of Herbed Béchamel
1½-2 lbs lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente
3 cups shredded parmesan
1 lb fresh mozzarella, sliced thin or shredded

How to do it:

Fry the bacon until crispy. Chop coarsely. Set aside.

Saute onion with a touch of salt in 1 Tbs bacon fat, until translucent. Add garlic and continue to sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Check seasoning, then set aside and allow to cool.

Beat eggs with salt and pepper, until frothy. Beat in ricotta and mascarpone until fully incorporated. Squeeze spinach in your fist, hard, to remove (and discard) as much of its liquid as you can. Add strained spinach to ricotta mixture and stir until spinach is evenly distributed. Correct seasoning.

Assemble lasagna according layer list, below. Bake, covered with foil, at 350ºF for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for another 20 minutes. Allow finished lasagna to sit for 1 to 3 hours before slicing. After slicing, lasagna may be reheated (covered, at 350°F), if need be, before removing portions from the pan.

"Spinach-Herb Lasagna," from Make It Like a Man!

Lasagna may be assembled and refrigerated the day before baking, but no earlier than that.

  1. Parmesan (4 and 5 of 5)
  2. Fold in overhanging noodles
  3. Parmesan (3 of 5)
  4. Béchamel (3 of 3)
  5. Lengthwise noodles that don’t overhang
  6. Parmesan (2 of 5)
  7. Béchamel (2 of 3)
  8. Onion mixture
  9. Mozzarella
  10. Lengthwise noodles
  11. Parmesan (1 of 5)
  12. Ricotta (2 of 2)
  13. Crosswise noodles
  14. Béchamel (1 of 3)
  15. Bacon
  16. Ricotta (1 of 2)
  17. Lengthwise noodles
  18. A bit of béchamel
  19. Butter the baking dish

Plate each serving with a ladle full of the same Herbed Béchamel that makes up the layers. (You’ll need to make an extra half-batch. If you threw a little ground lamb into that half-batch, I certainly would not freak out.)

"Spinach-Herb Lasagna," from Make It Like a Man!

Herbed Béchamel

What you need:

4 cups of whole milk
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 bay leaf
¼ cup fresh thyme, packed
1 Tbs dried basil

3 Tbs butter
¼ cup AP flour
1/3 cup shredded parmesan

How to do it:
  1. Heat the milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, bay leaf, thyme, and basil just to the precipice of boiling.
  2. In a separate pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir vigorously until it turns to a light tan or deep cream color – but don’t let it brown. Gradually pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, stirring like a madman, until the two are fully homogenized.
  3. Cook, stirring in a relaxed but constant manner, until the mixture thickens to a decidedly gravy-esque consistency.
  4. Off heat. Stir in cheese until incorporated. Taste to correct seasonings. It must not be bland, and it should have a subtle touch of heat that shows up as an afterthought.

If you’re a closet racist and you think that serving white lasagna to your guests might give you away, top it with a spicy tomato-based meat sauce or marinara; this lasagna will take to that pairing quite nicely. But even better, stop being a racist.

"Spinach-Herb Lasagna," from Make It Like a Man!

Spinach-Herb Lasagna

Credit for images on this page: Make It Like a Man! This content was not solicited nor written in exchange for anything.

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30 thoughts on “Spinach-Herb Lasagna

  1. I’ve never crisscrossed the noodles before. I can certainly see that it would add to the structure (and I’m not even an engineer!). GREG

  2. Oh, I could definitely get on board with this lasagna, Jeff….and not just because you used the word ‘striation’ to describe the bacon layer. These flavors sound like they’re right up my alley! And I laughed to myself at how you described the order of the layers. I only have one or two lasagna recipes out on my site, but I remember writing the instructions was a serious pain! Well done on this one, my friend!
    David @ Spiced recently posted…Taco Salad Bowls

  3. OK, so one of the reasons I dig your food is that you like to eat like me. You actually use bacon fat to sauce things in… perfect. People have no idea how much flavor their losing by not doing that. Secondly, as Dave is not a fan of the delicious tomato (his loss!) I usually make a bechamel type sauce or pesto instead, like here. This great and I like the crossing of the lasagne, it adds stability. Awesome Jeff.
    Kevin | Keviniscooking recently posted…Barley Salad with Apricot and Pine Nuts

    • Thanks, Kevin. My grandma lived through tough times where you threw nothing away, and much of that rubbed off on me. She was both clever and economical.

    • I would fix that for you Kevin – and I probably should – but 1) you fixed it here, and 2) saucing things in bacon fat sounds like so much fun! Spinach salad in the 80’s, anyone?

    • I know exactly what you mean, Natasha. So worth it, though. And considering that it freezes well, you can have a great meal from it at least a couple times.

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