Healthy Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna recipe
Think of this as an antidote to all of the holiday-themed recipes being posted right now. And HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!
I whipped this up (well, maybe not whipped) as my contribution to an all-girl potluck supper Sunday night. Someone requested that I make a “healthy” mushroom lasagna and I thought, Shoot, I can just throw that together, no problem. It turned out that in the 20 years since my last pan of lasagna, I’d forgotten just how many steps are required for a lovely lasagna. Oof.
However, I did ultimately succeed in building a truly decadent-tasting white lasagna with a considerable reduction in calories. Definitely healthier than the norm and vegetarian, to boot. After all, my girlfriends wouldn’t be thanking me Monday if I contributed an irresistible slab-o-calories for the main course.
One of the diners suggested I should submit this to a contest for lower calorie makeovers of comfort food. I just might. It’s that good!
This would be lovely for any holiday potluck or casual entertaining occasion like New Year’s Day.
Makes 12 generous servings
- 40 ounces fresh spinach, stems removed, well washed
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup minced shallots
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms (shiitake, portobello, and/or chanterelles or hedgehog) cleaned and sliced
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 4 cups 2% milk, very hot but not boiling
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
- 15 ounces, fresh, reduced fat ricotta
- one large egg, lightly beaten
- 3 cups grated reduced fat mozzarella
- 1 box no-cook lasagna noodles (or 1 pound fresh lasagna noodles, cooked al dente)
- Bring a large stockpot full of salted water to a boil. Add the spinach leaves and cook for a scant 2 minutes. Drain well, cool. Squeeze in a tea towel to remove all liquid.
- In a large skillet melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and saute for 2 minutes to soften. Add the sliced mushrooms and season generously with salt and pepper. Saute the mushrooms, stirring, until the mushrooms are softened and have given off their liquid (about 5 to 6 minutes).
- To make the white sauce (pretty much a bechamel), in a large, heavy saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter along with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the flour slowly and whisk into the hot fat, cook this for about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in the hot milk. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, nutmeg and 1 1/2 cups of Parmesan. Continue to cook until thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat to cool before using.
- Combine the ricotta, mozzarella and beaten egg in a bowl. Add 1/3 cup of white sauce and stir to blend.
- To assemble the lasagna: spread about 3/4 cup of white sauce across the bottom of a deep lasagna pan (13″ x 9″).
- Then lay down one layer of either no-cook. or cooked and drained, noodles. Cover with 1/3 of ricotta mixture, then 1/3 of mushrooms and 1/3 of spinach. Cover with about 1 cup of sauce and repeat layers. Finish with a layer of noodles and a final cup of sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese, cover with foil and bake for 45 to 50 minutes at 375°. Remove foil to brown for an additional 10 to 12 minutes.