The recipe of lasagna with spinach and ricotta
A classical version of one of the most popular recipes of lasagna
Time: about 1 hours
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Ingredients(for four people)
Pasta sheets for lasagna: about 24 sheets
Salt,pepper and grated nutmeg
Grated Parmisan (about 40 gr)
Bechamel sauce: 250 ml
Preparation of the filling
Both frozen and fresh spinach can be utilised without making much difference. Ricotta must be very fresh.
Drain the ricotta in a fine sieve set over a bowl for 1 hour, or longer if the ricotta is very wet.
Wash the spinach and cook it into one litre of salted boiling water on medium fire for 15 minutes. Drain and squeeze spinach, then chop it very finely on a wooden board with a semicircular chopping knife .
Put into a bowl the ricotta, a bit of grated nutmeg, some pepper, some salt, the egg, the chopped spinach and the grated Parmisan. Stir everything up till to get a soft cream. The egg is not necessary, lasagna will taste great even without the egg.
Tips for this stage
- The nutmeg is the real secret to get a flavoured filling, do not forget it!
Preparation of lasagna
Take a rectangular baking pan. The dimensions of the pan must be compatible with the dimensions of your pasta sheets (see the section above).
Grease the bottom of the pan with olive oil. This will prevent the first layer of pasta sheet from getting stuck to the bottom of the pan while baking.
Make the first layer of pasta sheets. On this first layer of pasta sheet, spread some of the filling (the filling must be as high as 3/4 mmand cover all the surface of the layer of pasta sheets) and then some grated Parmisan. If you wish, you can also spread some bechamel over the filling, but your lasagna will be heavier. Again, make a second pasta layer, and again, spread some filling and some grated cheese. Go on with layers up till ingredinets are finished. The layers of pasta must be at least four. Usually they are six. Once got to the last layer, top with some bechamel sauce mixed with the reminder of the filling. Spread some Parmisan on the top of the filling.
Bake at 160 degrees for 50/60 minutes. Check lasagna sometimes; your lasagna are ready when there is a thin golden crust over there.
Tips for this stage
- Cheese must be Parmigiano reggiano (Parmesan). There is a similar Italian cheese, Grana Padano, but it is not exactly the same thing. However, if authentic Parmesan is not at hand, Grana Padano can work as well;
- Be careful! pre-prepared lasagna cook faster, so check the time and the temperature on the box of lasagna.
According to the tradition, Lasagna is a first course. So, it is served after starters and before the main course. As lasagna is very rich, in modern diets lasagna is served as a main course, maybe with some fresh salad as side dish.
Structured white wines like Verdicchio or Frascati, which are produced near Rome (Italy), are a good match for spinach lasagna.