Saturday, November 29, 2008

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

serves 6-8 – From America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
This is a strong flavored dish, especially as leftovers. For milder flavor, use less parmesan cheese and spinach (about ½ or 3/4th of what’s called for).

15 oz ricotta
1 ¼ C parmesan cheese – separate ¼ C for ending
1-2 t dried basil
1 large egg or 2 egg whites, light beaten
½ t salt
½ t pepper
2 T olive oil
A dash of garlic powder
1 lb mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and thoroughly squeezed dry and chopped
5-6 C tomato sauce
1 lb mozzarella, shredded
12 no-boil lasagna noodles (one 8 or 9 oz package – I like Barilla no-boil brand)

1.Preheat oven to 375 with rack in the middle position. Mix the ricotta, 1 Cup of the parmesan, basil, egg or egg whites, salt, and pepper in medium bowl. Stir until well mixed and soft.

2.Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan or skillet until shimmering. Sauté the mushrooms on medium high until desired brownness. Sprinkle with garlic powder, remove from heat, and stir in spinach. Set aside and allow to cool.

3.In a 13x9 inch baking pan, spread 1 C of tomato sauce on bottom. Assemble the bottom three layers as follows: Place 3 noodles side by side along the length of the pan (noodles are small and will not exactly fill the pan to the edge, so don’t panic). Place 3 T of ricotta mixture on top of each noodle and spread to edges of noodles. Sprinkle 1/3rd of mushroom spinach mixture on ricotta mixture. Sprinkle 1 C of mozzarella next, and pour 1-1 ½ C of sauce on top of mozzarella. You’ll have just enough filling to do this 3 times.

4.For the final layer, place the last three noodles on top, pour the remaining sauce over noodles, and sprinkle remaining mozzarella and ¼ C of parmesan over the top. Spray a sheet of aluminum foil and place over top. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil, and bake for 25 minutes more. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Chunky Tomato Sauce For Lasagna – This is a strong sauce, and it’s great on any pasta. For milder flavor, use half the garlic and omit the onion and red pepper flakes.
1 T olive oil
½ onion, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced, or 4 crushed
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (or 2 14.5 oz), drained if using for lasagna, undrained if just topping pasta
¼ t dried oregano
1/8 t red pepper flakes

Heat oil over medium high until shimmering. Add onion & 1 teaspoon of salt, & cook until onion is softened, about 5 min. Add garlic & cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in crushed and diced tomatoes, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Season w/salt and pepper to taste.

by Dianna G.

Garlic Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon

2 ½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
6 cloves garlic, crushed
3 T. fresh rosemary leaves stripped from stems
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
salt & pepper
½ c. chicken broth

Preheat oven to 450˚ F. Arrange chicken in 9x13 baking dish. Add garlic, rosemary, olive oil, lemon zest, and salt & pepper. Toss and coat the chicken. Roast for 20 minutes. Add chicken broth and lemon juice to the dish and combine with pan juices. Return to oven and turn oven off. Let stand 5 minutes longer, then remove chicken from oven.

by Catherine S.