Tuesday, August 18, 2009

variation on lasagna

I'm not sure why. Sometimes, I just get a hankering for some lasagna. Today was one such time. Spring break memories of the Tuscan lasagna made me think a variation of the traditional meat, cheese and sauce was in order. In the past, I've merely added ingredients. Portabello mushrooms. Italian sausage. More cheese. Tonight, I went outside of that modus operandi. I went Greek...sort of.

1 1/2 lbs. of shrimp, cooked & cleaned
12 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente and drained
1 small bag of baby spinach
Fresh basil to taste
Small bunch of parsley
2 lbs. ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
3 cups shredded mozzarella (or Italian blend)
10 oz. or so of crumbled feta cheese
Tomato sauce
Italian seasoning, if desired

Lasagna requires a lot of bowls for prep and a decent-sized countertop. Chop spinach, basil and parsley. Combine in large bowl. Set aside.

Make sauce. Yes, I said make sauce. Doing this right means doing all the steps right. If you want to use Ragu or Prego, stop reading this recipe and learn how to make your own sauce. It's worth it.

Beat egg in another large bowl. In order, mix in ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella. In small amounts, mix in green stuff until all ingredients are evenly dispersed.

Oil the bottom and sides of a 14" x 9" casserole dish. The deeper the better. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the pan and the first layer of noodles. Cover with half the ricotta and spinach mixture. Next layer of noodles. Layer in sauce, shrimp and feta. Next layer of noodles. Sauce and the remaining ricotta. Last layer of noodles and sauce on top.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes before plating.

Shrimp worked well, but shredded [fill-in-the-meat] or a vegetable substitute would work equally well. Perhaps an olive/peperoncini/roasted garlic/red pepper Greek twist instead of meat? I'm not really sure. I also thought a pesto instead of red sauce would go well, too.

Cooking ain't an exact science; experiment and enjoy the results

1 comment:

~Christina~ said...

I love trying new recipes and chaning things up. I think I would like to make it a veggie with roasted vegetables. Sounds fab!