Monday, May 20, 2013

Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna

Martha Bost, my mother (born in 1936) made this for her buddies recently.
She took a photo of this dish and sent it to me.  Thanks, Mother!

Recipe from William Sonoma Essentials of Healthful Cooking
Makes 8-10 servings

Homemade lasagna always draws raves and this one didn’t disappoint. The photo in the cookbook convinced me to try this version. I wanted to make a vegetarian lasagna too and this one includes tofu. Meat eaters will not notice that this dish is meatless. No one will realize that tofu has been added. Tofu is easy to digest, low in calories, calcium and sodium, high in protein and cholesterol-free — all of which makes it one of today's most healthful foods. You will need to prepare the Spicy Tomato Sauce recipe which is available on this blog. Make it ahead of time. When making this lasagna, you won’t even need to cook the noodles ahead of time. All of the ingredients can be found at Lost River Market & Deli. This lasagna can be made ahead and reheated. Serve it with a crisp salad, crusty bread and Casa Mon Frare 2005 red wine. We shared this dish with our friends, Andy and Linda, and we all had seconds. And then had plenty left for our lunch the next day. We all agreed that the recipe should be included in the blog. So, here it is.

3 packages frozen chopped spinach
12 oz. soft tofu
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 large egg whites
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
9 or more dried lasagna noodles
3 large red bell peppers, roasted; seeded or 1 ½ jars roasted red peppers, drained
2 large cloves garlic, minced

Cook spinach according to package directions. Let cool and squeeze out well so that it is dry. (I placed the spinach in a tea towel and squeezed.)
Crumble the tofu in a strainer and drain well. It should resemble cottage cheese. Place in a large bowl. Add the ricotta and egg whites. Stir well until combined. Stir in the parmesan cheese and ½ cup mozzarella. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

To assemble the lasagna, cover the bottom of a 9”X13”X3” baking dish with 4 cups of the Spicy Tomato Sauce. Arrange 3 or more dry noodles over the sauce to cover. Cover the noodles with half of the peppers. (There will be spaces.) Cover the peppers with half of the spinach. Sprinkle half of the garlic evenly over the spinach. Using a large spoon, dollop half of the cheese mixture on top of the spinach. With the back of the spoon, spread the cheese as much as possible without pulling up the spinach. There will be some spaces. Top with another layer of the dry pasta noodles and then the remaining peppers, spinach, garlic, and cheese mixture. Cover with the remaining noodles. Spread the remaining 4 cups of the Spicy Tomato Sauce over the top. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake until the pasta is almost soft when tested with a knife, about 1 ¼ hours. Uncover. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup mozzarella evenly over the top. Replace the foil. Continue to bake until the pasta is soft and the cheese on the top of the lasagna is melted, about 15 minutes longer. Uncover and let the lasagna rest for at least 20 minutes before cutting.

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