Monday, April 12, 2010

Spinach and Artichoke Lasagna

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!


Joanne said...

You guys make such a great time! Zach with the hashbrowns of heaven and you with this lasagna. Spinach and artichoke dip flavors + lasagna = amazing.

Happy Me said...

Your breakfast and lasagna look and sound spectacular! I love hiking, I'll have to see if I can persuade my DH to do some with me soon!

Bellini Valli said...

What a fantastic way to spend the weekend together. Breakfast, hiking, man-shopping and a superb lasagna.

Gita Jaishankar said...

I am happy to know that you are having a good time :) the brunch platter looks so the lasagna too...very tempting :)

Faith said...

I love how you lightened up this lasagna! Looks like a very satisfying meal. Your brunch looks delicious too!

ktbwood said...

Aww how fun!! so cute yall cooked together! i LOVE LASANGA!! its my fav!

Lasagna Recipes said...

Lately I'm having progress in having veggies in my kid's diet. And mostly it's through lasagna recipes that I could trick them to eat it. I had a feeling that spinach and artichoke will soon be a part of their diet, too!

Fran said...

This is one of those recipes that makes me think I could TOTALLY be a vegetarian!! I may have to try this out for my veggie s-i-l when she visits.

MelindaRD said...

That is so great that Zach came home for the weekend. Looks like you were mighty productive, probably with a splash of relaxation. I love this lasagna. I haven't made some in a while, so maybe I should.

Jamie said...

Oooh this looks delicious. Hope you are feeling well and glad Zach came home for the weekend. xoxo

swankyrd said...

This lasagna looks delish!
I love cooking a nice meal on the weekends and just enjoying the weather. Sounds perfect to me!

tasteofbeirut said...

I am not crazy with the traditional american lasagne but this one is an exception! the combo of artichokes and spinach is not too heavy and would make a delightful pasta! Thanks for posting this!

Kerstin said...

Yay for Zach being home! I love your lasagna - the artichokes in it sound so so good!