This delicious spinach lasagna is perfect for all sorts of special occasions, from Christmas Eve to Valentine’s Day. Based on a recipe we found in Southern Living, it went through several revisions until we got it just right.
What makes this lasagna our favorite is the homemade marinara sauce and lasagna noodles we use, but you can also purchase fresh sauce and pasta sheets from grocers like Whole Foods.
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If you are up to the challenge of cooking from scratch, try the Classic Marinara Sauce from Bon Appétit. It’s our go to pasta sauce and is pretty easy. Just be sure to use high-quality canned tomatoes (we like Cento) and crush them up really well. If you like a little kick to your sauce, you can add red pepper to taste at the end.
A few other tips:
- Don’t use part-skim ricotta in this recipe as it can make the lasagna watery.
- A garlic chopper is a big time saver when you’ve got a lot of garlic to mince.
- Make sure the spinach drains really well. You can even use the back of a spoon to press more liquid out of the mixture when it’s in the colander.
- Add oil as well as salt to the pasta cooking water to avoid the noodles sticking together. After you drain and rinse them, lay them out flat on a non-stick surface such as a baking sheet.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 20 oz fresh baby spinach
- 32 oz ricotta cheese
- 8 oz mozzarella, shredded
- 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups Parmesan, shredded (divided)
- 4 cups marinara sauce
- 9 fresh lasagna noodles, cooked
- Preheat oven to 350◦. Lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the spinach by handfuls, letting it wilt in between each. Place the mixture in a colander to drain.
- Combine the ricotta, mozzarella, basil, salt, and 1 cup of the Parmesan.
- Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Top with 3 noodles, trimming them as needed to fit. Spread half of the spinach mixture over the noodles, then half of the ricotta mixture, followed by 1 cup of marinara. Repeat with 3 more noodles, the remaining spinach and ricotta mixtures, and another cup of marinara. Finish with the final 3 noodles and 1 1/2 cups of marinara.
- Bake the lasagna for 1 hour, then sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 cup of Parmesan and continue baking until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Let the lasagna stand for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.