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Some of the best tips for making spinach lasagna involve ensuring that the spinach and ingredients are in the best condition possible when incorporating them into the recipe. Using fresh ingredients is one of the best ways to put together a great-tasting meal. To help prepare the dish and start the recipe, grease the pan, place the sauce before the noodles and blot the spinach first. Combine some of the ingredients together with the ricotta to mix the flavors. Meat can sometimes work against the other flavors in the recipe.
Using fresh ingredients when making spinach lasagna helps ensure that the completed meal tastes just as fresh. This involves using freshly chopped vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms and onions. Boil the lasagna noodles the day of rather than preparing them a day or two before. It's also best to use fresh tomato sauce rather than what's in a jar.
Whether using a glass or metal baking dish to bake the spinach lasagna, grease it first so nothing sticks. Pay special attention to the corners and along the top edges, which are often skipped. Rather than starting with a layer of noodles, start with a layer of sauce. It prevents the bottom layer of noodles from getting dry and ensures they have flavor on both sides rather than only on the top.
In order to get some of the moisture out, blot the spinach first, whether using just-washed fresh spinach or cooked frozen spinach. There are already enough wet ingredients in the spinach lasagna recipe, so including moisture from the spinach can water down the ingredients and make the meal runny. To blot the greens, place them on one half of a clean, dry kitchen towel, then fold the other half of the towel over them and lightly press to get some of the water out.
Ricotta can taste quite bland when it's not combined with other ingredients. Mix the ricotta with the egg and any spices being used, including salt, basil, pepper, and garlic. It's also a good idea to mix in the spinach and any other vegetables. Blend everything together in a mixer; add a few ingredients in at a time and mix them together before adding in the next few.
Although a standard recipe typically has meat included, it's not necessary to add it to spinach lasagna. The spinach is usually a hearty enough option to replace the meat. In some cases, meat can actually overwhelm the recipe rather than enhance it.
Nothing beats homemade tomato sauce, and gosh, it's easy! I'm with the TV cooks who say the San Marzano tomatoes are the best ones to use. If you have to get whole ones, whizz them in the food processor (no juice added) for a couple of seconds until everything is chunky.
I dice half an onion and start that browning in some olive oil, then when it's nearly done, I add three cloves of garlic, minced. Then, add about 4 tablespoons of butter and let it melt. Then, add the tomatoes, plus the juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook about 45 minutes. Prep time is about 10 minutes. Couldn't be simpler. And it's worth the small effort for the taste payoff.
I always let my frozen spinach dry on paper towels in a colander, then press the spinach and get the water out. If I'm doing it early in the day, I'll then let the spinach air dry in the fridge. That helps me get the most moisture out of it.
You don't necessarily need lasagna noodles if you have spinach. Just layer everything like you would otherwise, and make sure the spinach is in a thin layer. You can mix it with the ricotta cheese to make it easier to spread.
I always mix an egg with the ricotta, along with some Italian seasoning and a little garlic salt, along with a generous pinch of black pepper.
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