Spinach Lasagna

The rich creamy cheese sauce makes this a favorite lasagna. You won’t even notice the spinach because it blends in so easily with the sauce and savory layers.

Meat Sauce

    1 cup chopped yellow onion 
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 pound lean ground beef
    ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne
    1 teaspoon garlic salt
    2 teaspoons dried oregano
    2 teaspoons dried basil
    ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
    2 garlic cloves, crushed in a garlic press
    1 cup sliced white mushrooms or 1 (4-ounce) can mushrooms
    2 (14 ½-ounce) cans Italian-style tomatoes, undrained
    1 (16-ounce) can Italian tomato paste
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Béchamel or White Sauce

    ¼ cup butter
    ¼ cup all-purpose flour
    ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
    2 cups whole milk
    1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

    ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
    9 extra wide curly lasagna noodles

Spinach Layer

    1 (10-ounce) box frozen spinach, thawed


    ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
    ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

1.  Heat water in a 12-quart stockpot. Boil noodles, then rinse in     
     cold water. Leave in the pan in cold water until needed.

2.  Meat sauce: In a 5-quart sauté pan, cook the onion in the
     olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add the beef and
     cook until browned and crumbly.

3.  Crush the cayenne, salt, oregano, basil and pepper in a mortar        
     with pestle. Add to beef with garlic, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes,
     tomato paste and parsley. Cut up the tomatoes with
     a kitchen shears. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
     A splatter guard is helpful.

3.  Cheese sauce: In a 1-quart saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in    
     flour, nutmeg and garlic. Whisk in the milk and heat until    
     thickened. Stir in the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.

4.  Rinse spinach in a sieve and press to remove the water.

5.  Preheat oven to 350

6.  In a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish, 
layer three noodles, ½ meat sauce, ½ cheese sauce and      
½ spinach, twice. Top with last 3 noodles and topping of 
     mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

7.  Bake for 30-45 minutes and then let sit for 10 minutes      
     before cutting.

     Makes 6 servings