19
Jan
11

pesto lasagna

 

...pesto lasagna...

 

“That’s going to be too much, you won’t finish it.” My brother is pointing at the giant bag of spinach that I am grasping on with both arms and with wide eyes.

The younger brother mentality kicks in and I border line whine, “Nah, I’ll finish it. I can make a salad, put it in a wrap, stir fry it, or juice it.  See, this Costco bag is totally worth it.”

Fast forward two weeks and I have a giant bag full of spinach and…crap…it’s about to go bad.  And I’m talking brink of badness, where you open the fridge and you smell something.  It doesn’t smell bad or rank, but it smells like something is about to happen and it’s not happiness, that’s for sure.   So, in an attempt to not allow my brother an opportunity to sing an “I Told You So” dance, I try to make a dish that can use all the spinach and let as little go to waste as possible.

So before anyone figures it out, I break out the giant bag of spinach and start separating good leaves with not so happy leaves.  I end up with a large bowl and a half of green crisp spinach and I go to town with it.  I create a beautiful deep green pesto that is spicy with Italian basil, creamy with extra virgin olive oil, and nutty with toasted pistachios.  All of it comes together with a couple of handfuls of spinach.  Amazing…but…Doh, I still have a bunch of spinach left.  So I blanch the spinach to give me a deep green pile of folic acid beauty, mix it with some creamy ricotta, and nutty asiago and I now have a cheese filling.  And then it comes to me: let’s make some lasagna!

Now, this ain’t yo mama’s lasagna (especially because mine is Taiwanese and doesn’t know how to make lasagna).  This is not a traditional lasagna with tomato sauce and lots of fillings.  Instead this version is just a few ingredients: pesto, spinach, cheese, and onion.  Oh, and it’s wonderfully green.

It’s a simple dish with basic flavors, but everything melds really well together.  On top of the flavors, there are some awesome textures that are going on in this dish.  If you can’t finish the lasagna, that’s fine.  Just heat up the leftovers.  They’re still good.  Also, if you need to make this in advance, you can layer and build the lasagna and then refrigerate it until your ready to heat and serve.  Not to mention this thing is packed with spinach.  Like a lot of spinach.  Like a good Costco size bag full.  Awesome!

So, now you know what to do if you ever get stuck with a giant bag of spinach.  Sorry, don’t know what to do with the giant tub of mayo from Costco.

~stuff

10 uncooked lasagna sheets

1 cup packed Italian basil

2 cups packed fresh spinach [plus a handful for layering]

3 cloves of garlic, grated

1 cup toasted pistachios

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup spinach, blanched and chopped

1/4 cup onion, minced

2 cups mixed grated asiago and parmesan

4 provolone slices

1/2 cup grated mozzarella

salt and pepper to taste

~steps

preheat oven to 375°F

boil a large pot of salted water for lasagna pasta and cook according to package direction

pulse basil, fresh spinach, grated garlic, salt and toasted pistachio, in a food processor and slowly pour in oil while processor is on until everything is blended into a pesto.  Reserve on the side.

mix in a large bowl the ricotta, onion, spinach, salt, pepper, grated asiago, and parmesan until well combined.

arrange lasagna by starting with a layer of pasta, then 1/2 cheese mixture, a handful of fresh spinach, provolone slice, 1/3 of the pesto, and pasta

layer on top of the base with remaining cheese mixture, handful of spinach, mozzarella cheese, 1/3 of the pesto, and remaining pasta in an oven safe 8″ x 12″ casserole dish.

top with the remaining pesto, asiago, and parmesan.

bake in the oven covered for 15 minutes and then uncovered for remaining 10 minutes.

-serves 4-

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3 Responses to “pesto lasagna”


  1. 1 KB
    February 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    MMmmmmm I love green lasagna. I definitely want to try your recipe– I’ve never made pesto before yummmm.

  2. 2 Lore
    March 9, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Scotty,

    I made a version of this last night with some slight alterations for my own personal tastes. IT WAS SOO GOOD!! Any more delicious veggie recipes you have please keep them up. The lenten season is upon us!!


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