Recipe: Spinach & Mushroom Pesto Lasagna
Let me preface this post with a bold statement and a pat on the back: this is one of the best lasagnas I’ve ever eaten. It’s a flavor explosion without being a muddled mess; it’s creamy but not too rich, hearty but not overly filling. In short, it’s perfect.
You’ll start with a jar of marinara sauce and add a heap of sautéed mushrooms and shallots, some herbs and garlic, and you’ll end up with a saucy symphony. Combine this with a ricotta/pesto mixture + additional cheese and no-cook lasagna noodles, and you’re in for one tasty, simple dinner. It’s a great anytime meal, but it’s just swanky enough to qualify for a date night-worthy dish, too!
2 T. olive oil
7 oz. crimini mushrooms
7 oz. button mushrooms
1/3 c. shallots, minced
1 T. garlic, minced
2 T. tomato paste
1 - 25.5 oz. jar pasta sauce
1/3 c. vegetable broth
1/2 t. red pepper flakes + extra to garnish
1/2 t. salt
2 c. low-fat ricotta
1/2 c. pesto
12 /2 c. shredded mozzarella
2-3 c. fresh spinach
1 package no-cook Green Lentil Lasagna Noodles
1/4 c. shredded Parmesan
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried rosemary
5 basil leaves, ribboned, plus additional to top
Salt & pepper, to taste
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2) Add the olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-8 minutes.
3) Stir in the shallots, 1/2 a tablespoon of minced garlic and the tomato paste. Cook on low for one minute, then stir in the pasta sauce, 1/4 t. red pepper flakes, 1 t. dried rosemary and the ribboned basil leaves. Season with salt & pepper. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
4) In a separate bowl, add the ricotta, pesto, 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese and the remaining minced garlic. season well with salt and pepper, stir to combine and set aside.
5) Spoon a bit of sauce onto the bottom of a 9 in. x 13 in. baking dish and use a spatula to coat evenly. Remove any mushrooms from the dish and add back to the pot of sauce (you don’t want lumps under your lasagna noodles).
6) Top with four lasagna noodles. Spoon on half of the ricotta mixture and spread evenly. Cover the ricotta layer with spinach, then sprinkle with some of the remaining mozzarella cheese. Pour on 1/3 of the sauce and spread to coat.
7) Repeat Step 6.
8) End with a third layer of lasagna noodles and the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan, then top with additional red pepper flakes and dried oregano.
9) Make a foil tent over the baking dish; you want the edges to be sealed but you don’t want the foil to touch the cheese. Bake for 50 minutes.
10) Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the top is golden and crispy. Top with additional Parmesan, red pepper flakes and dried oregano if desired.
Original recipe by Vanilla and Bean