Tuesday, March 31, 2009

on the spot

A while back I bought a pack of whole wheat oven ready lasagne noodles on sale at Target, and haven't known what to use them for. I don't make lasagne too often since it's a pretty hefty meal, and I didn't want to mess with a classic. And since using whole wheat noodles means the meal is healthy, I thought I'd try to stick to a theme and make a healthier lasagne. And since I've been on a spinach kick, I decided that's where I was going to start. I made a simple bechamel sauce with the spinach and layered with leftover homemade pizza sauce I had in the freezer. And I shredded up a rotisserie chicken, and it was really good. You have to try it! Of course go ahead and use normal oven ready lasagne noodles if you cant find whole wheat ones. But just so you know, I didn't even notice a difference in texture. I was really pleased.

Creamy Spinach Lasagne
1-9x13 inch pan
1 pack whole wheat oven ready lasagne noodles
3 C 1 % milk (or feel free to use full fat or 2% just don't use skim!)
3 T flour
1/2 onion, minced
9 0z spinach leaves
1-1/2 C homemade pizza sauce or other tomato sauce
2 T butter
1/4 t or less of finely grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
2 C mozzarella cheese
1/2 C finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter and cook the onions until soft and translucent but not browned. Add flour and whisk to combine. Cook the flour for about 30 seconds to get rid of the raw flour taste. Add milk, about 1/2 C at a time, whisking continuously until it's all encorporated and smooth. Stir in the nutmeg.
  2. Add spinach and gently fold into the bechamel until all of the spinach is wilted.
  3. In a 9x13 baking dish, put about 1/4 ~ 1/2 C red sauce in the bottom and place 3 noodles. Then Top with white sauce, mozzarella cheese, and about 1/3 C chicken. Place 3 more noodle sheets, top with red sauce. Repeat layers until you run out of noodles. Add the parmesan or pecorino romano cheese on top.
  4. Cover and bake at 375° for 40 minutes, remove the foil and turn the broiler on and bake for another 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and browned. Take out of the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

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