When I said I'd be making lasagna with white sauce today she was sort of iffy about the idea. I've made it before, but its been a while & last time it was all veggie. This time I decided to go meat, cheese, spinach & white sauce. Don't judge....its not something you eat every week. Its pretty darn rich & a whole 9x13 pan will last us (a family of 5) for 3 meals at least.
You can make this easier for yourself or harder. Neither is really that hard...but the oven ready noodles take more moisture to cook & takes longer baking time to get the noodles nice & soft. You pick which is harder or easier for yourself.
This is amazing with a simple green salad & French bread!
1 box lasagna noodles (oven ready or pre-boiled normal)
8-10 cups of Alfredo or Bechamel sauce (thats 3 jars of bottled sauce if you use it, plus 2 jars of water if doing oven ready noodles)
1 large bag of cut frozen spinach
1 (15oz) container of ricotta
1 (12oz) container of cottage cheese
1lb ground beef (80/20)
1lb ground sausage (mild)
8-10 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1-2 tsp salt
2 tsp red pepper flakes
4-6 cups of grated cheese (Any mixed white cheeses: jack, mozzarella, pecorino-romano, Parmesan.)
2 cups of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees (400 if convection).
- Put entire bag of frozen spinach into a bowl & microwave on high for 8-10 minutes.
- Drain spinach in a colander, pressing to get all excess water out.
- Brown beef & sausage in a non-stick pan.
- Add garlic, salt, red pepper flakes towards the end & brown a bit more.
- In a large mixing bowl (Kitchen Aid) put all the meat, spinach, ricotta & cottage cheese.
- Blend all until well mixed.
- In the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish place a heavy layer of sauce.
- Then layer in the following order...noodles, sauce, filling, cheese, light sauce, noodles, sauce, filling, cheese, light sauce, noodles, sauce, filling, cheese, light sauce....followed by noodles, heavy sauce, cheese & bread crumbs.
- Place casserole dish onto a baking sheet. Cover casserole with foil.
- Bake covered for 30 minutes & then uncovered for 30 minutes. (This is the timing for uncooked/oven ready. It only takes about 30-40 for pre-boiled noodles.)
- Shut off the oven & let the lasagna sit inside for 30-40 minutes. If you cut the lasagna straight out of the oven it will turn into a lasagna puddle on your plate. This lets the cheese re-firm up a bit & everything will not ooze out.