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
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.
Lasagna may be assembled and refrigerated the day before baking, but no earlier than that.
- Parmesan (4 and 5 of 5)
- Fold in overhanging noodles
- Parmesan (3 of 5)
- Béchamel (3 of 3)
- Lengthwise noodles that don’t overhang
- Parmesan (2 of 5)
- Béchamel (2 of 3)
- Onion mixture
- Lengthwise noodles
- Parmesan (1 of 5)
- Ricotta (2 of 2)
- Crosswise noodles
- Béchamel (1 of 3)
- Ricotta (1 of 2)
- Lengthwise noodles
- A bit of béchamel
- 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.)
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:
- Heat the milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, bay leaf, thyme, and basil just to the precipice of boiling.
- 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.
- Cook, stirring in a relaxed but constant manner, until the mixture thickens to a decidedly gravy-esque consistency.
- 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.
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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