Sunday, February 21, 2010

Spinach Lasagna and Homemade Garlic Bread

We had Marie and Victor over on Saturday night in honor of Marie's upcoming birthday, so I decided to make spinach lasagna. I don't usually make it since it makes a lot, but it is an easy dish for company since it requires very little last minute attention. I got the recipe from my mom. I also made homemade garlic bread. My brother stole this recipe from the restaurant he used to work for as a teenager in Pittsburgh (Bentley's on Wilkins avenue...if anyone remembers). It definitely beats store-bought garlic bread any day and is very easy to make.

Spinach Lasagna
32 oz part-skim ricotta
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided
(you can use whole milk versions of both cheeses for richer lasagna, but I try to keep the fat content down by using part skim and the taste is still good)
1/2 C parmesan, divided
2 eggs
2 jars marinara sauce
16 pieces Barilla flat, no-cook lasagna noodles
2 packages frozen chopped spinach.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine ricotta, eggs, 1 C mozzarella and 1/4 C parmesan.
3. Defrost and drain 2 boxes of spinach.
4. Gather all of your ingredients for layering.

5. In a 9x13 baking dish or lasagna pan, spread one cup of sauce, follow by 6 lasagna noodles (minimize overlap), half of the cheese and half of the spinach.

6. Repeat sauce-noodle-cheese-spinach layer and top with 4 lasagna noodles and 2 cups of sauce.
7. Bake for COVERED for 1 hour at 375. (I forgot to cover it and the top layer got a little toasty!)
8. Add remaining cheeses (1 C mozzarella and 1/4 parmesan) and bake UNCOVERED for an additional 10 minutes.
9. Let rest a few minutes before serving. Serves 6-8.

Difficulty: Easy
Guest Raters- Marie and Victor: 9.5
Debbie's Rating: 8- next time I will remember to cover it in the oven!
Hirsh's Rating: 8.5

Homemade Garlic Bread
1 loaf of bread of your choice- works well with sourdough, italian and ciabatta
Butter spread like smart balance or country crock
Garlic Powder

1. Cut bread into thick slices and put on foil lined baking sheet.
2. Put butter spread in microwave for 10 seconds to soften.
3. Add a few shakes each of garlic powder and oregano to the butter and combine.
4. Spread a thin layer of seasoned butter on the bread and top with parmesan.

5. Bake at 350-400 (depending on what else you have in the oven- 375 is best) for 6 minutes.

Difficulty: Easy
Hirsh's Rating: 9
Debbie's Rating: 10


  1. This is making me hungry for pasta! Have not had any since December!

    If you want to try a variation on garlic bread that is absolutely yummy and super-easy, slice the bread and place it under the broiler, dry, till it's golden, then take it out and quickly rub it all over the browned suface lightly with a halved clove of fresh garlic, Brush on some good olive oil, and salt it or toss on some parm - SO yummy!

  2. I don't think I could ever live without pasta! But good for you!

    The garlic bread variation sounds good! Although Hirsh is very particular about "soft" garlic bread not "crunchy" garlic bread, haha, so I would have to see what he thought of a crispier version. :-)

  3. Oh, this is definitely crunchy! Does he like fresh tomatoes? Cause if you chop up some fresh tomatoes and fresh basil, mix in a teeeny splash of red wine vinegar and a grind of pepper, and throw it on top of the crunchy bread and top it with fresh mozzarella it is DIVINE! (and it's far less crunchy)

  4. Debbie, it's easier than you think.

  5. Actually, Matt is right - once you get off the carb thing, the craving goes away pretty quickly. It also makes the sugar cravings go away.

  6. Alright Matt, I want you to post on your blog your dinners for 7 days. I am so curious what you eat! Before I started cooking for him, all Hirsh ever ate was spaghetti, mac and cheese, pasta sides, etc, so I am puzzled as to what you make for yourself every night. Enlighten me on non-pasta living. :-)