Thursday, September 9, 2010

Spinach and Artichoke Lasagna

So I have finally established I will most likely be leaving Durham at the beginning of October. The whole partially-employed-creepy-alumna-who-still-occasionally-haunts-the-campus thing has started to get old, and I am ready for the next adventure.

In the meanwhile, I am now playing a game I like to call: Eat All the $@#% Left in Your Pantry and Freezer! Today's contestants include a box of frozen spinach and a can of artichoke hearts.

Normally I kinda despise artichokes. The only time I even remotely like them is in spinach and artichoke dip, so that was my first thought. My second thought was what would happen if I sat on the couch and ate an entire batch of spinach and artichoke dip by myself.

So instead I made Spinach and Artichoke Lasagna! For some inexplicable reason that seemed healthier to me, even though it took me days to take down this beast. I did freeze some portions for later though.

Anyways, this is a great vegetarian alternative to my more classic Mountain Lasagna. It was quite tasty, and can feed a crowd. Or yourself over the span of a week. Either way, give it a try!

  • 9 uncooked lasagna noodles. Wanna know a secret? YOU DON'T HAVE TO BOIL LASAGNA NOODLES. When they bake in the sauce, they soften right up. Ignore those instructions on the back of the box! Rebel!
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large container ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 onion
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 box frozen spinach, thawed. Make sure to squeeze out all the excess moisture. You would not believe how much water comes out of the thawed spinach!
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 can vegetable broth
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning, divided
  • 1 tbsp. dried rosemary. Yeah, there is probably rosemary in the Italian seasoning. But it never hurts to add extra if you have it on hand.
  • Olive oil
Okay, so I know this ingredient list looks a little long. But you probably have a lot of this stuff anyways, and if not, it's all cheap and easy to find, like a hooker in Las Vegas.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crack your eggs into a bowl and lightly beat them into submission.

Mix in your ricotta cheese, half of your mozzarella cheese, and 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning.

Chop up an onion and put it in a large, high-sided skillet with some olive oil at medium high heat. When it has become soft and translucent, add the garlic.

After the garlic has cooked for about a minute, add your vegetable broth, rosemary, and remaining Italian seasoning to the skillet. Let it come up to a boil.

In the meanwhile, roughly chop your artichoke hearts. Play Bon Jovi's "Shot Through the Heart" in the background.

Once the skillet has come to a boil, add your artichoke hearts, spinach, and tomato sauce. As you can see from my photo, my skillet was too small for comfort. Don't make the same mistake I did: use a big ole skillet or pot!

Let the mixture simmer and reduce for about ten minutes at medium heat. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish (or foil pan for easy clean up) with nonstick spray and ladle in a thin layer of your sauce to coat the bottom of the dish.

Add three lasagna noodles.

Add about half your cheese mixture.

Add another layer of sauce, noodles, and the rest of the cheese mixture. Then a layer of sauce, the last three noodles, and sauce again. Top the whole thing with the rest of your mozzarella cheese and feta crumbles.

Cover it up with foil and pop it in the oven for 45 minutes. You probably want to stick a cookie sheet under it in case the sauce boils over!

While you are waiting, you can stare at this random picture I found online of Borat with his head as an artichoke:

Then uncover your lasagna and let it bake for another 15 minutes until the cheese on top is all hot 'n bubbly.

Cut yourself a big ole messy portion and dig in! It is messy and delicious.

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