Saturday, July 19, 2008

Spinach Lasagna with Prosciutto





I've always loved lasagna. I'll take it any way I can as long as there's lots of cheese!

I made this spinach lasagna a few weeks ago, but forgot to post it. It's a great alternative to the traditional meaty lasagna. It was sooo good.

Spinach Lasagna with Prosciutto
adapted from Cooks Illustrated

INGREDIENTS

Spinach
1 tablespoon table salt
20 ounces curly spinach (2 bags), stemmed and rinsed OR frozen spinach drained

Bechamel
5 tablespoons unsalted butter , divided
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto , chopped medium
5 large shallots , minced (about 1 cup)
4 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (generous 1 tablespoon)
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk
2 bay leaves
3/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)

Cheeses and Pasta
8 ounces whole milk cottage cheese OR ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter for baking dish
12 no-boil lasagna noodles from 1 box
1 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)
8 ounces Italian fontina cheese , shredded (about 2 cups)
8 ounces fresh mozzarella

1. For the spinach: Fill large bowl with ice water. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven or stockpot over high heat; add salt and spinach, stirring until spinach is just wilted, about 5 seconds. Using skimmer or fine-mesh strainer, transfer spinach to ice water and let stand until completely cool, about 1 minute, then drain spinach and transfer to clean kitchen towel.
Wrap towel tightly around spinach to form ball and wring until dry. Chop spinach medium and set aside.

2. For the béchamel: Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming, add the prosciutto. Sauté until slightly crisp, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the prosciutto to a small bowl.
Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in the saucepan over medium heat until foaming; add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 1/2 minutes; do not brown. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat, whisk in bay leaves, nutmeg, salt, and pepper; reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Whisk in Parmesan and discard bay leaves. Transfer sauce to bowl, press plastic wrap directly against surface, and set aside.

3. For the cheeses, pasta, and assembly: Blend cottage cheese, egg, and salt in food processor or blender until very smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Place noodles in a 13- by 9-inch broilersafe baking dish and cover with hot tap water; let soak 5 minutes, agitating noodles occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from water and place in single layer on kitchen towel. Wipe baking dish dry and coat with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Use rubber spatula to distribute 1/2 cup béchamel in bottom of baking dish; position 3 noodles on top of sauce.
Stir spinach into remaining béchamel in bowl, mixing well to break up clumps of spinach (you should have about 4 cups spinach/béchamel mixture).
Spread 1 cup spinach mixture evenly over noodles, sprinkle evenly with Parmesan, and top with 3 more noodles. Spread 1 cup spinach mixture evenly over noodles, sprinkle evenly with 1 cup fontina and half of the mozzarella, and top with 3 more noodles.
Spread 1 cup spinach mixture evenly over noodles, followed by cottage cheese mixture. Sprinkle the prosciutto evenly over the cottage cheese mixture. Finish with 3 noodles, remaining cup spinach mixture, remaining cup fontina and rest of the mozzarella.
Lightly spray large sheet foil with nonstick cooking spray and cover lasagna. Bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes, then remove foil. Remove lasagna and adjust oven rack to uppermost position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler.
Broil lasagna until cheese is spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, then cut into pieces and serve.

1 comment:

Sara said...

what the hell deely....you didn't save any for me?? love you!