Here’s where I used my creamy ricotta cheese that I made from my failed attempt at mozzarella. You can find that story here: texaspistolinthekitchen.com/2014/7/19/cheese
I usually put half hot breakfast sausage and half Italian sausage in my lasagna but I didn’t have any on hand. We didn’t miss the meat with this lasagna one bit. The mushrooms added a meaty flavor which was delicious. You can still add meat if you want.
Left to right: Butter, my creamy ricotta, lasagna noodles, Italian seasoning, pepper grinder, red pepper flakes, mushrooms, extra virgin olive oil, tomato sauce and tomato paste.
Fresh from the garden garlic, minced baby carrots and onion, baby spinach and fresh homemade mozzarella a very good friend made for me.
First I start out with roasting my garlic for my garlic bread. Put the oven on 450 and prep your garlic. I skin them and give them a tiny smash with the back of my knife. Not too much just let some of the olive oil get in there while roasting. Seems to make it go a little faster. I make a little bowl with foil just big enough for them all nestle in there together then bring the corner up and pinch the edges together to seal. Resembles an onion bulb. I do this so it is easier to check on it during roasting and it wont burn your fingers.
Little fresh cracked pepper and a splash of olive oil to coat. Pop it in the oven.
Now I start on the spinach and mushrooms.
Add a splash of olive oil, add the mushrooms and a generous tablespoon of onion. Saute until the onion is almost clear. Turn off the heat and add the spinach stirring frequently until wilted. Remove from pan and set aside. SAVE THOSE BEAUTIFUL JUICES! You will use them in the sauce!
Saute the carrot and onion in olive oil until tender. Remember those beautiful juices?
Squeeze all the juices from the spinach and mushrooms with the back of a spoon into your pot. It’s OK if you loose some spinach in there.
Add your tomato sauce, paste and spices to the pot. Stir. Heat sauce to bubbling not boiling but bubbling. You don’t want to scorch it. Just get it hot. Reduce to low-simmer. Put a lid on it. Stir occasionally. I cook it for about 30 minutes.
Check your garlic!
I like mine a little more roasted so I put it back in.
Now. To start my roasted garlic butter for my bread while the sauce is cookin’. It’s time consuming but to me it’s well worth it. I love garlic and I really LOVE good garlic bread. I let my butter soften to room temp in a micro safe bowl. Add a few shakes of parsley, some coarse ground black pepper and pop it in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Stir it around. I then take my roasted garlic and SMASH it with a fork and add it to my melted butter. It should look like this:
Pop it in the freezer to harden.
Make sure you set it on a flat surface and not in the ice bin where it can easily shift when someone slams the fridge door or you will have garlic butter that looks like this….
Yes. I pried that off the freezer and I still used it. Don’t judge me…. You can NOT waste butter people!
I let it sit in the freezer to long but I let it sit out and soften a little. You want it to look like this so you can spread it easily.
On to the lasagna noodles. I used oven ready but I don’t care what the box says they are NEVER oven ready when I use them. Never. I always soak them about 10 minutes in hot water occasionally stirring with my hands so they don’t stick together.
The sauce should be done now.
Put a layer of sauce in your pan and add your noodles and spread a layer of ricotta on top of the noddles.
Add another layer of sauce, noddles and ricotta then sprinkle and spread out the spinach and mushroom mixture.
Add more sauce, noddles, ricotta and another layer of sauce. Top with fresh slice mozzarella.
Loosely cover with foil and pop it on the oven at 350 for 30 minutes
I take the foil off and pop it back in for about 15 minutes. Then it is perfect! Let it sit about 15- 20 minutes while you toast the bread.
Spread that beautiful garlic butter liberally on sourdough bread. Broil until desired toastyness.
Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna
- Two pieces of sourdough bread cut into halves
- 4 cloves of garlic lightly smashed
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- few cranks of fresh cracked black pepper
- few shakes of parsley
- Olive oil
Preheat oven to 450. Set butter out to soften. Smash garlic. Make a bowl with foil that has been folded into a small square large enough to hold cloves. Add cloves, a splash of olive oil and fresh cracked pepper. Bring corners together and pinch closed. Not too tight. Put in the oven for about 30 minutes. It should be done about the time the sauce is. I checked it about 20 minutes in to cooking. When the cloves are a nice golden brown they are done. Let the cloves cool and mash with a fork. Add the cloves to your soften butter along with cracked pepper and parsley. Stir to combine and place in the freezer to firm up. When the lasagna is done spread the butter mixture on bread and broil until toasted.
- 3 1/2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning
- big pinch of sugar ( I don’t use measuring utensils often)
- fresh black pepper to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons of crushed pepper
- half to a whole bay leaf
- 1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 6 oz can of tomato paste
- olive oil
- 2 big handfuls of baby spinach (about two cups) rough chopped
- 1/2 an onion minced
- 1/2 cup of baby carrots minced
- 1/2 cup of chopped mushrooms
- one container of ricotta cheese
Mince and chopped all veggies.
Add a splash of olive oil to your pot, add the mushrooms and a generous tablespoon of onion. Saute until the onion is almost clear. Turn off the heat and add the spinach stirring frequently until wilted. Remove from pan and set aside. Do not drain.
Saute the carrots and onion in olive oil until tender. Squeeze juices from the spinach and mushrooms with the back of a spoon into pot with carrots and onions. Add your tomato sauce, paste and spices to the pot. Stir. Bring sauce up to a good bubbling not boiling but bubbling. You don’t want to scorch it. Just enough to get it hot. Reduce to low-simmer and cover. Stir occasionally. Cook sauce for about 30 minutes. Spread a layer of sauce in a glass casserole dish. Remove noodles from the water and blot with a paper towel. I only used 6 lasagna noodles for this recipe. Place two on top of sauce and spread on a layer of ricotta. Spread sauce onto ricotta. Layer two more noodles, spread another layer of ricotta then spread mushroom and spinach mixture over ricotta. Spread sauce over mushroom and spinach mixture add another layer of sauce. Repeat noodle and ricotta layer cover with sauce. Place last two noodles on top with a generous layer of sauce. Top with fresh sliced mozzarella. Place in oven at 350 loosely covered for thirty minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or until mozzarella is melted. While your lasagna is cooling, butter and toast the bread.
Hope y’all enjoy this recipe. I sure did.