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REC: Spinach Bechamel Lasagna. I was sure I had posted this here, but when a friend asked for it,

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Joined: Dec 14, 2005

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Posted to Thread #9104 at 3:04 am on Dec 19, 2007

I had to retrieve it from Gail's archives.

This is a rich creamy white lasagna from Moosewood collective, great on its own or as a vegetarian option next to a traditional meat and tomato sauce lasagna.

SPINACH BECHAMEL LASAGNE
From <i>Sundays at Moosewood.</i>

For a 4-quart (10x15") pan, serving at least 12. To feed a crowd, a triple recipe fills 4 regular Pyrex (9x13") pans. It can be assembled a day or two before baking and refrigerated, or it can be frozen. Defrost thoroughly before baking and allow a little longer for a chilled dish to cook.)

3 bunches fresh spinach
Salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 lb ricotta cheese, preferably whole milk
2 eggs
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley
6 cups milk, plus more if needed
cup butter
1 cup flour
Salt, pepper and nutmeg
1 lb. lasagne noodles (or sheets of fresh pasta, if you have the time)
2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese, preferably whole milk
1-1/2cups grated Parmesan cheese

SPINACH: (Original recipe has you simply chop the spinach and stir it into the onions, but it's so much better if you blanch it first). Put a large pot of salted water on high heat. Pull the stems off the spinach backwards and wash in several changes of water. Drain. When water is boiling, add spinach and blanch until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain quickly and rinse in a colander under cold water to set the color. Squeeze excess water out of spinach with your hands. Chop roughly and set aside.

Saute the onions in the olive oil until tender and translucent, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and saute 2 minutes more. Add spinach and the 1/2 cup parsley and saute about 5 minutes more. Set aside.

FILLING: Mix together the ricotta cheese, the 1/4 cup parsley and the 2/3 cup Parmesan. Beat in the eggs. Set aside.

BECHAMEL SAUCE: Heat the milk in a saucepan or in the microwave. To make a roux, melt the butter in another saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring, 3-4 minutes. Gradually whisk in the hot milk. Bring to the simmer, stirring constantly, and simmer for several more minutes. It will be very thick. If it's too thick to stir add more milk. Season highly to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from heat, but stir it from time to time so it doesn't form a skin on top.

ASSEMBLY: Preheat the oven to 350:F. Boil the lasagne noodles in salted water until almost tender. Drain and rinse. Now layer the dish as follows:

1-1/2 to 2 cups sauce
A single layer of noodles, trimmed to fit
1/2 of the spinach mixture
All of the mozzarella
1-1/2 to 2 cups sauce
Another layer of noodles
All of the ricotta mixture
The rest of the spinach
1-1/2 to 2 cups sauce
A final layer of noodles
The rest of the sauce
All of the parmesan

Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes more, or until bubbling hot and golden brown. Let rest 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.


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