MM's Florentinga (Florentine style lasagna)
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- lasagna noodles (i use the kind you have to cook)
- about 15 cups of tomato/spaghetti sauce
- provolone slices (optional)
- small onion, diced very fine
- garlic or garlic powder
- 1 lb
- mushrooms, chopped in pieces
- 1 lb
- spinach (fresh or frozen)
- large roasted red pepper (or use some from jarred) , diced
- handfuls, fresh basil,chopped
- handful, fresh parsley, chopped
- fennel seed, crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 32 oz
- whole milk ricotta
- 1 lb
- shredded mozzarella (or provolone combo)
- 1 c
- fresh grated parm
- pinch of nutmeg and of lemon zest
- salt & pepper
1Drain the spinach very, very well. I strain the heck out of it to get all water out! If you are using jarred red peppers, drain them as well. Also, depending on the ricotta brand you use, you may need to drain some excess liquid from that.
2In skillet, get your veggie filling going: sautee onion & some garlic in a little OO. Add the mushrooms after a few minutes, and toss. Drain any liquid. Then add your red peppers & spinach and mix. I add a little fennel seed & some crushed red peppers. Turn off heat and add chopped basil and parsley (reserve a little for garnish). If there's any liquid, drain it.
3Set aside and allow to cool. Meanwhile, get salted water boiling for your lasagna noodles. Cook very al dente and drain. (I remove w/ tongs and put on baking racks to cool and dry out).
4Next make your cheese filling: mix ricotta, egg, lemon zest, nutmeg, salt & pepper. Add about half-cup of parm. (I use fresh grated parm throughout the recipe, but when adding to the mozz mix, I have used the grated canned kind, and it's fine!)
5When Veggie Filling is cooled completely, mix slowly with the cheese filling, adding and stirring as it combines. Mix very well. Cheese & Veggie Filling complete.
6Now you are ready to layer your Florentagna! Pour an even amount of sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish -- just enough to cover. Lay in 6 lasagna strips (I overlap tightly). Spread a layer of cheese & veggie filling (1/2 of it). Then sprinkle with mozzarella and fresh parm. Add another layer of lasagna noodles, and the rest of the cheese and veggie filling. I add a layer of provolone slices here, but this makes it extra, extra cheesy so omit if you don't want so much! Top with final layer of lasagna noodles. Cover with a thin layer of sauce.
7Bake at 350 degrees for about one hour & 10 minutes covered. Let the lasagna sit for 15 minutes before cutting it. Serve with a scoop of more sauce on top (as desired) & garnish with basil and parsley and enjoy!
8NOTE: Adjust your seasonings according to how your sauce is seasoned. For example, I use a lot of garlic as I cook my tomato sauce, so I use less when I'm preparing the filling.