Spinach and Escarole Lasagna
- 15 ounces Ricotta
- 1 cup Parmesan, grated
- 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Salt to taste
- Pepper, ground to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 head escarole, trimmed and chopped
- 1 bunch spinach, trimmed and chopped
- 4 cups tomato sauce
- 2 1/2 cups Mozzarella, shredded
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. For the filling, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg. Add eggs and mix well. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of minced garlic and sauté for 15 seconds. Add escarole and sauté, turning frequently, until greens have wilted and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet and return to medium-high heat. Add remaining minced garlic and sauté for 15 seconds. Add spinach and sauté, turning frequently, until greens have wilted and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.
To assemble lasagna, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Add a layer of cooked dried pasta or fresh pasta. Spread half of ricotta filling evenly over pasta, followed by the escarole and its juices. Top with 1 1/2 cups of tomato sauce. Spread half of the mozzarella over the sauce and sprinkle with half of the Parmesan. Place another layer of pasta on top and spread with the remaining ricotta filling, then the spinach and its juices. Top with 1 1/2 cups of tomato sauce. Tuck any long noodles into the pan to prevent them from curling and drying, scatter the remaining mozzarella on top, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
Bake lasagna for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes more. If the top browns too fast, cover it lightly with oiled aluminum foil. The cheese should be melted and bubbly and the top should be a light golden brown when done.
Remove lasagna from oven and let it stand for about 15 minutes before cutting into portions and serving.
Yield: 8 servings
Suggested Wine Pairings: Chianti, Dolcetto, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah