Friday, 21 January 2011

Spinach ricotta tomato lasagne

I have eaten this lasagna plenty of times when I visit Italian cafe. I decided to try it out and it turned out really good. I was a bit surprised with the result as it was as authentic as I ate in Italian cafe.

The only thing I struggled was to separate the lasagna sheets after they were cooked. The pack instruction said add olive oil in boiling water to avoid sticking but that didn't help much. What helped me was once the sheets were cooked I left it in little bit of water and then used it straight away in my oven tray.
I am still looking for the best way to cook them.

For filling:
Spinach: 250gms
Ricotta cheese: 200gms
Garlic clove: 1
Butter: 2 spn
Nutmeg: 1/2 tea spoon
Salt to taste
Oregano: for seasoning
Black pepper: for seasoning

Pre-cooked lasagna sheets: 8-10 [cook them according to the instructions on the pack]

For sauce:
[Note: buy ready make sauce and just heat it in olive oil for faster result, you may add couple of spoon of ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, oregano, mixed Italian herb etc.]
Tomato passata: 350-400ml
Garlic: 1 clove
Olive oil: 1 table spoon
Seasoning: Salt, pepper, oregano, mixed Italian herb etc

Mozzarella cheese
Parmesano reggano cheese and

For filling:
Wash spinach and drain off all the water. Peel garlic and rough chop it. Heat large pan, add butter and garlic once the butter is hot.
Add spinach leaves and let it cook until its soft. Add salt, pepper, herbs, nutmeg and mix well.

Spinach cooks very fast. Baby spinach will cook in 3-4 minutes and normal spinach will take 5-6 minutes.

Once spinach is cooked it will leave some water in the pan. Drain it off and let it cool in the colander. Once spinach is cooled off, press the leaves to squeeze out all the water from spinach.

Finely chop spinach and add grated ricotta. Give a little taste and if required add more seasoning. Filling is ready.

For sauce:
Heat the pan, add olive oil and once its hot add garlic. Add tomato passata and all the seasoning. Once the sauce is all mixed, add cheese of your choice. I added ricotta as I was left with some of the ricotta cheese.

Pre-cook lasagna according to the instruction give on the pack. Cooking time for each is different.

Pre-heat over on 180 degree C for 10 minutes.

Take the oven tray to cook lasagna.
First layer of tomato sauce.
Second layer of lasagna sheets.
Third layer of spinach ricotta filling.
Fourth layer of lasagna sheets.
Fifth layer of spinach ricotta filling.
Sixth layer of lasagna sheets. [do one more layer if you have spinach filling or]
Final layer of tomato sauce.
Optional layer of cheese. Take some fresh mozzarella cheese, parmesano reggano cheese and make another layer on it.
Place the tray in oven and leave it to cook for 30minutes on 180. You will notice nice brown color around the corner and sauce turns thick.
Serve hot with some fresh vegetables.
With cheese

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