There’s a whole cookbook dedicated to the fine art of lasagne-making — lasagne of course being the plural of lasagna. Layer up and dive into this comforting world with food stylist and writer Sandra Mahut, and get ready to find your favorite new baked pasta recipe. There’s nothing quite like a classic spinach and ricotta lasagne.
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 knob butter
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 pounds 3 ounces fresh spinach or 1 pound frozen spinach
- 1 3/4 cup ricotta
- 2 cups grated Parmesan plus 3 tablespoons for the béchamel sauce
- salt and black pepper
- 20 1/2 ounces bechamel sauce
- 12 sheets dried or fresh lasagna
Béchamel Sauce (makes 20 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 pinch each pepper and ground nutmeg
- 15 3/4 x 8 inch gratin dish
For the béchamel sauce
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Sprinkle in the flour and salt, and whisk to form a paste. Add the milk, little by little, stirring constantly. The sauce should thicken and become smooth and creamy. Season with pepper and nutmeg.
For the lasagne
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil along with the butter in a frying pan (skillet). Add the garlic and nutmeg, fry for 2 minutes, then add the spinach. Cook until the spinach has wilted. Remove from the heat, allow to cool, then remove as much water as possible by squeezing the spinach with your hands. Roughly chop the spinach and put it in a bowl with the ricotta and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, and stir well.
Stir 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan into the béchamel sauce.
Pour 1 teaspoon olive oil into the bottom of the gratin dish. Lay 3 sheets of lasagne in the bottom of the dish, side by side, then alternate layers of spinach and ricotta mixture, lasagne and béchamel sauce. Repeat the process, finishing with a layer of béchamel sauce. Top with the remaining Parmesan and bake in the oven for 30–40 minutes.