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Spinach and Artichoke Lasagna

Posted Apr 12 2010 3:23am

Ah, this might be the most obvious statement in existence, but here goes anyway - Weekends are Wonderful!! :-) Zach's clinicals allowed him to come home again this weekend, so Saturday and Sunday were pure bliss. We fixed a grand brunch on Saturday morning, complete with spinach omelets,

(not quite as pretty as Julia's, but I was still rather pleased... :-)

and chef Zach's homemade hashbrowns...

along with Morningstar Farm's vegetarian maple "sausage," and whole wheat toast with Smart Balance Light and all-fruit Blackberry jam!

We went spent Saturday afternoon electronics-store browsing, one of Zach's favorite activities - the guy version of window shopping at the mall, I suppose... :-) Then we went hiking for most of the day on Sunday, inspired by the beautiful hiking photos posted by ever-awesome Lele of Lele Lurves Plants! Lele, thank you for reminding us that hiking is the best way to spend a spring weekend! :-)

And, of course, as on most weekends, we did some laundry with the help of Ruby the kitten...

Perhaps the most exciting event of the weekend, though, was lasagna-making! I've been in the mood for lasagna for quite some time, but I also fancied a springier version than our traditional lasagna, which feels more suited to a chilly fall or winter day... Since artichokes are one of Zach's favorite vegetables, an artichoke spinach lasagna seemed the perfect solution!

(Look how lovely and green! :-)

I lightened up the rich ricotta filling a bit as well, and while this still might fall close to the special occasion dish category, it tasted much lighter than most lasagnas, and left us feeling blissfully indulged yet still bright and vivacious after our hike.

I feel so incredibly blessed to have enjoyed such a glorious dish, with my true love beside me, the sun shining, and Spring celebrating with us...

Spinach and Artichoke Lasagna

2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained
2 lbs. part-skim ricotta cheese
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
2 tsp sugar
2 eggs
2 ½ lb of your favorite marinara sauce
6 oz part-skim mozzarella, shredded
6 oz provolone, shredded
1 box “no boil” lasagna pasta

~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
~ In a food processor, pulse the spinach and artichoke hearts until coarsely chopped.
~ Whisk together the ricotta, cream cheese, sugar, and eggs until smooth and creamy.
~ Fold the artichoke and spinach mixture into the ricotta mixture.
~ Toss the shredded mozzarella and provolone together until mixed.
~ In a 15X9” baking pan, spread a layer of marinara sauce. Top with a layer of pasta. Spread a generous layer of the ricotta mixture on top, then top that with some shredded cheese. Continue layering in this fashion (marinara, pasta, ricotta, shredded cheese) until the pan is full, making sure to end with the shredded cheese layer (I can fit 3 complete layers in my pan, but it varies, of course).
~ Bake for 45 minutes, until the top layer of cheese is melted, slightly set, and just barely beginning to brown on top. Remove from the oven, and allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

On the blog this time last year... Garlic Cream Sauce!
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