|My mom and dad...miss them both|
I first had this recipe way back in 1996. My mom and I were visiting some friends in Louisville, Kentucky. Amber made a version of this recipe for us for dinner. My mom and I both loved it. Amber was kind enough to share the recipe and my variation were born. My mom would even ask me to make it occasionally. I loved cooking for my mom and dad and I used to fix my dad lunch almost every night. I like cooking because it reminds me of this happy family memories from my childhood.
I get so many compliments on this dish it is a time intensive, labor of love to make. My family loves it and I think it's even better the next day. You can make this ahead of time and freeze. You don't have to add any meat - I promise it's still so good, but if you have a family like mine then add it in. I've used sliced grilled chicken, cooked hamburger, spicy sausage and ground turkey. I think it's good all the different ways. Pick the one you know your family will like.
Spinach Lasagna with/without meat
1 small container of Ricotta Cheese (pt. Skim)
1 8 oz Cream cheese
¼ C Butter
¼ C parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add ricotta cheese, egg, parsley and salt and pepper. Set aside.
Chicken (about 3-4) Grilled and sliced thinly.
1 bag Spinach – washed and stems removed – baby spinach works best
4-5 peeled Carrots – cut into small circle
1 Lg Onion - diced
Mushrooms – sliced. if you like mushrooms use a lot if not, then leave out.
2 Zucchinis - sliced
Garlic – fresh is best 2-3 cloves minced
Lasagna noodles – 1 Pkg. I like the Barilla ready to use noodles
Red Sauce – whatever your favorite kind is – I make my own. Need lots of it.
Mozzarella Cheese shredded – as much as you like for the top of the lasagna. I like to use mozzarella and Parmesan
I grill the chicken (slightly underdone) slice thinly set aside. Sauté onions, garlic, carrots together until onions are translucent and carrots are soft (add a little of the basil, oregano and parsley while cooking). Remove from pan. Cook zucchini, mushrooms and a little garlic set aside. May need to put a little olive oil in pan – 1-2 tsp. When soft remove from pan.
Layer in large casserole 9X13 pan. Red sauce (thin coating on the bottom so the noodles don’t stick). Then noodles - spread ricotta cheese on noodles, spinach, chicken, onions, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms and then red sauce (be generous with the sauce or it gets dry). Repeat – noodles - spread ricotta cheese on noodles, spinach, chicken, onions, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms and then red sauce. I usually do 3-4 layers depending on how deep your pan is. End with a noodles on top then red sauce (NO ricotta cheese). Generously sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top. Sprinkle with parsley and bake at 350 degrees F for about one hour – cheese will brown and it will be bubbly.