Lasagna Verde

This post is sponsored by Lagostina

This lasagna consists of layers of lasagna noodles, creamy spinach béchamel, beef and veal Bolognese, fresh spinach leaves and Parmesan cheese. It is a twist on a popular, light and flavorful lasagna verde from the restaurant Angelini Osteria in Los Angeles. While many lasagna verde recipes use fresh lasagna noodles with fresh spinach blended into the dough, I opt to use a shortcut of store-bought noodles and blend the blanched spinach into the béchamel sauce. Since there are so many parts to this recipe, using the store-bought noodles saves on both time and cleanup. I also like to cook the lasagna noodles in the same water I blanched the spinach in to get any extra spinach flavor I can.

I use the Lagostina Lasagna pan when making this lasagna. The pan is both decorative (it comes with a pretty cherry wood and steel lid) and practical, as it keeps the lasagna warm while waiting for everyone to sit down at the table.  The Lagostina Lasagna pan even makes cleaning up easier as you can cover the pan and use it as a way to keep leftovers in the fridge for late night snacking. (I am all in favor of making cleaning up easier as I am a little lazy when it comes to doing it after cooking. And to be fair, when I cook dinner, I think that it should be a rule that other people clean up!)

When cooking the noodles be sure to undercook them since they will essentially be cooked twice when the assembled lasagna is baked. After cooking the pasta noodles don’t just dump them into a colander as you would with other noodles – they will clump together. Similarly,  if you start the layering with the béchamel it ensures that the noodles will not stick to the bottom of the pan when baked.

This lasagna verde uses Parmesan cheese rather than mozzarella, the traditional cheese added to lasagnas. It adds incredible flavor while simultaneously keeping the lasagna light. To save on time the lasagna can be assembled a day ahead of time, refrigerated and then brought to room temperature for 1 hour before baking.

 

Ingredients:

For the beef and veal Bolognese:

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

2 large stalks celery, chopped

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds ground beef

1½ pounds ground veal

½ cup dry red wine

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

For the spinach béchamel:

3 (packed) cups baby spinach

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup all-purpose flour

3½ cups whole milk

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten  

 

For assembly:

2 pounds lasagna noodles

4 (packed) cups baby spinach leaves

3 cups grated Parmesan cheese

 

Instructions:

For the beef and veal Bolognese:

Add the onion, carrots and celery to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until the mixture is pureed. Heat a large saucepot over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the pureed vegetables and sauté until soft and tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté an additional 30 seconds.

Add the ground beef and veal, using a wooden spoon to break up and chunks of meat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is browned, about 10 minutes. Add the red wine and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the wine evaporates, about 5 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes and thyme then cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick, about 1 hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

For the spinach béchamel:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted, about 30 seconds. Drain and plunge the spinach into ice-cold water. Drain completely, using paper towels to wring out any excess water.

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Whisk in the flour and cook until the roux turns a pale golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the milk, whisking to incorporate. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium-low, whisking until the sauce thickens, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Next, whisk in the Parmesan and salt until completely combined, then remove the pot from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Add the mixture to a blender with the eggs and spinach. Puree until completely combined. Add back to the pot and set aside.

 

For assembly:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook the pasta noodles in a large pot of boiling water until softened but still al dente, about 5 minutes. Remove the noodles carefully and transfer to a large bowl of ice water. Drain the noodles and set aside on a single-layer on an oiled baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In a 13” x 9” lasagna pan spread ½ cup of the béchamel to form a thin bottom layer. Top with an even single layer of the noodles. Spread 1¼ cups of Bolognese over the top of the noodles then ¾ cup of the béchamel then a handful of the spinach leaves followed by ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat the process 4 more times, for a total of 5 layers of noodles, ending on a layer of the Bolognese and topping it with the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Bake the lasagna until the top is golden brown, about 50-60 minutes. Let the lasagna sit for 15 minutes to cool before serving. Cut into 9 equal slices.

 

Serves 9.

lasagna verde cooking with cocktail rings

This sponsored post was created in partnership with Lagostina – all opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

 

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