Classic Spinach Lasagna1
By Just A Pinch KitchenCrew
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1/2 ozporcini mushrooms, dried
2 Tbspolive oil
2 ozpancetta, coarsely chopped
3 Tbspchopped onion
1/2 lblean ground beef
·salt and freshly ground pepper
2 ozchicken livers, cleaned and minced
2 Tbsptomato paste
1.5 lbfresh spinach
1 cricotta cheese
1 lbfresh lasagna noodles
1 cparmesan cheese
How to Make Classic Spinach Lasagna
- TO MAKE THE MEAT SAUCE: Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and pour 1 cup boiling water over them.
- Let them sit for 30 minutes, then drain, reserving the water.
- Rinse the mushroom pieces thoroughly, chop them fine, and rinse again to remove all traces of grit.
- Line a sieve with a dampened paper towel and strain the mushroom-soaking liquid into a small bowl.
- Heat the olive oil in a large non-reactive skillet.
- Add the pancetta and onion and saute over low heat 5 minutes.
- Raise heat to medium, crumble in the ground beef, and add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and several grindings of fresh pepper.
- Saute 5 more minutes, stirring to break up the meat.
- Add the chopped chicken livers and the chopped porcini.
- In a measuring cup, combine 1/2 cup of the mushroom-soaking liquid and 1/2 cup hot water.
- Dissolve the tomato paste in this liquid and add it to the skillet.
- Bring to a simmer, cover the pan and cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally and regulating the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
- TO MAKE THE SPINACH FILLING: If you are using fresh spinach, wash it carefully, and place it in a large pot with only the amount of water that clings to the leaves.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt, cover the pot and turn heat to high.
- As soon as the spinach wilts, reduce heat to medium and cook 5 minutes. (If using frozen spinach, cook according to package directions.)
- Drain the spinach in a colander, spray with cold water, squeeze out most of the water, and chop it fine.
- Put it into a bowl and add the ricotta, the egg, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and several gratings of fresh nutmeg.
- Stir all together well.
- COOKING THE LASAGNA: Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
- Fill a large bowl with ice water.
- Lay out several clean dish towels on a work surface.
- Drop the lasagna noodles a few at a time into the boiling water and cook 1 minute.
- Drain them with a slotted spoon, dip them into the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, and lay them out on the dish towels while you cook the rest.
- ASSEMBLY AND BAKING: Preheat oven to 400.
- Butter a 10-by-14-inch baking dish with 1/2 tablespoon butter.
- Cover the bottom of the dish with a layer of lasagna noodles. (Use about a quarter of them.)
- Spread 1/4 of the spinach-ricotta mixture over the surface.
- Sprinkle on 1/4 of the parmigiano, then 1/4 of the meat sauce.
- Make 3 more layers in the same way, ending with the cheese and meat sauce.
- Finally, dot the top with the remaining tablespoon of butter.
- Bake 15 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling hot.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.