Can you really blame Garfield? Lasagna was, is and will be a drool inspiring dish. Lasagna bolognese is my absolute favourite but this lighter version of spinach lasagna always has me craving for more.
I was inspired by a lasagna tip from Cookie and Kate who uses cottage cheese instead of ricotta. Ricotta is lovely but where I come from it is not easy to find. The Cypriot cheese anari is very similar and you can use that too.
No-cook tomato sauce is another life changer. And no bechamel or white sauce. All you need is a food-processor to make this lasagna dish happen in less than 30 minutes. And it’s an absolute crowd pleaser. Even for Garfield.
For the tomato sauce:
- 1200 gr chopped tomatoes from a can
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
- about 10 basil leaves
- Black pepper
For the Spinach mixture:
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 2 Tbs unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 400 grams frozen spinach leaves
- 450 grams cottage cheese
- 60 grams cream (or milk)
- 4 Tbs parmesan cheese
For assembling the lasagna:
- 500 grams no-boil lasagna sheets
- 300 grams mozzarella, grated
To prepare the tomato sauce, place all ingredients in a food-processor fitted with a metal blade and blend until almost smooth.
To prepare the spinach mixture, rince the food processor bowl and blend the cottage cheese until creamy. Set aside until needed.
In a large skillet, heat oil and butter until butter has melted. Add onion and garlic. Cook stirring often until onion begins to caramelize. Add the spinach straight from the freezer. Cook stirring occasionally until spinach liquid evaporates and mixture is dry (not watery).
Remove skillet from heat and add the cottage cheese, parmesan, cream or milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix to combine.
To assemble the lasagna you will need a heat proof baking pan measuring about 20 x 30 cm. Slightly larger or smaller is ok.
- Spread one cup of tomato sauce over the base of the pan
- Layer 4 sheets of lasagna
- Spread with 1/4 of the spinach mixture
- Spread 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
Repeat process 3 more times.
For the last layer, place 4 sheets of lasagna, top with 1 cup tomato sauce and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella.
Cover pan with baking paper and then with foil. Bake covered at 180 C fan, for 40 minutes. Uncover pan and bake 20 minutes longer. Let lasagna stand for 15-30 minutes before serving. Enjoy.