Food and Cooking

Spinach and ricotta lasagne

Packed with greens, this is a lighter, fresher take on a classic lasagne. Using frozen spinach and swapping bechamel sauce for ricotta makes this version quick and easy to prep, too.

Ingredients
For the tomato sauce
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the spinach and ricotta filling
500g/1lb 2oz frozen spinach, defrosted and excess water squeezed out
250g/9oz ricotta
250g/9oz mascarpone
85g/3oz pesto
¼ nutmeg, finely grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper
To assemble
12 dried lasagne sheets
50ml/2fl oz double cream
25g/1oz Parmesan (or vegetarian hard cheese), finely grated
fresh salad, to serve (optional)

Method
To make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion for 8 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano and sugar and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 5 minutes then remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, mix the spinach, ricotta, mascarpone, pesto and nutmeg together in a bowl and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. To assemble the lasagne, lightly grease a 20x30x5cm/8x12x2in ovenproof dish. Spoon a third of the tomato sauce into the base then dollop over a quarter of the ricotta mixture. Swirl it through to create an even layer.

Layer over 4 lasagne sheets, breaking them to fit snugly and cover the sauce. Repeat with another third of the tomato sauce, a further quarter of the ricotta mixture and a layer of lasagne sheets. Repeat again so the lasagna sheets are on top and there is still a quarter of ricotta mixture left.

Gently mix the cream into the remaining ricotta mixture and spread this over the top layer of pasta. Sprinkle with the hard cheese and bake for 40-50 minutes. Serve immediately with salad, if preferred.

Source: BBC