Sometimes I am all about fast and easy recipes. Sometimes I like making complicated and time consuming meals. And sometimes, I take a fast and easy recipe and make it complicated and time consuming. This is one of those times.
Originally a crockpot lasagna, this Cooking Light recipe calls for commercial pesto and jarred tomato sauce. I like to make my own for both of those, so I did. Being Cooking Light, it also called for low fat cheese... and I just don't do that. I replaced the provolone-mozzarella blend with fresh mozzarella, but I did use part-skim ricotta. I also just baked it in the oven for 45 minutes instead of using the crockpot. I don't think that that part really matters.
All in all, we really enjoyed this lasagna. Its a nice change of pace from the usual lasagna, and we didn't miss the meat at all. If you want to try it out in the crock pot, check out the original link.
Pesto Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms
adapted from Cooking Light
- 4 cups torn spinach
- 2 cups cremini mushrooms, diced into medium pieces
- 1/2 cup pesto; commercial or homemade
- 1 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella, shredded
- 1 (15-ounce) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
- 4 cups tomato-basil sauce; homemade or jarred
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- Cooking spray
- 1 (8-ounce) package precooked lasagna noodles (12 noodles)
Steam the spinach and drain the excess moisture.
Combine the mushrooms, pesto, spinach in a small bowl and set aside. In another bowl, combine 3/4 cup mozzarella, egg, ricotta, and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Combine the tomato sauce with the pasta sauce.
Spread 1 cup of the pasta sauce in the bottom of the saucepan. Layer 3 lasagna noodles, followed by 1 cup of the spinach mixture and 1 cup of the cheese mixture. Repeat the layers, following the order of pasta sauce-pasta-spinach-cheese. Sprinkle remaining parmesan and mozzarella over the top.
Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes, until top is bubbly and golden.