I never promised this blog was healthy.
I’ll admit, a lot of my recipes are geared toward healthier eating in general, but not all of them. Some of them are simply about eating delicious, creamy, cheesy food and never feeling an ounce of guilt.
This is one of those recipes.
I kind of had this goal to lose 5 lbs by Christmas. Everything was going great! Until this weekend.
On Thursday night (pretty much a weekend night) AJ and I went and had dinner at a new-ish restaurant called Ember down in Arroyo Grande. They have a giant wood-fired oven right in their open-format kitchen and they serve the most amazing flavor combinations from every single part of their menu.
I found a pizza with local chantarelle and black trumpet mushrooms with truffled goat cheese. OMG. And AJ found one with squid and chorizo. WTF?! But it was soooo oooo ooo good.
And then Friday we met AJ’s parents for lunch at Fish Goucho in Paso, where AJ ate a whole burro (as opposed to a burrito). And then we continued to eat and eat and eat all weekend and I’m pretty sure I’ll have gained 5 lbs by Christmas instead of having lost any.
That’s what New Years’ resolutions are for, right?!
So instead of jumping right back on the bandwagon of healthy-ness and skinny jeans, I’m pulling out the stretchy pants and celebrating with this lasagna. Yesss.
This might look like your standard lasagna, with spinach and mushrooms and such – but believe you me, this guy has got some special stuffs going on. And it’s mostly all in the cheeses.
I wanted to use some interesting cheeses that aren’t generally associated with lasagna (namely, mozzarella and parmesan). So I went to my local Whole Foods and talked to the cheese guy until I settled on some Raclette and Gruyère cheeses. The Raclette is kind of like a fontina (so he told me), but a little more complex, and makes for fantastic melting. The Gruyère reminds me of a pecorino romano, but also more complex.
The combination of these cheeses was just mind boggling.
(But if you can’t find either of them then this will still be fantastic with fontina and pecorino romano, which are more commonly available)
This is a home-made lasagna, which means that it’ll take a little longer than most recipes on this blog. But make it every now and then and the flavors are so totally worth it.
This vegetarian lasagna is comfort food at it’s best. Stuffed with herbed ricotta, mushrooms, and kale and topped with delicious melty cheese. It’s the perfect lasagna!
- Prep Time: 40 mins
- Cook Time: 50 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 8-10 servings
- 1 lb lasagne noodles*
- 28-32 oz marinara sauce
- 12 oz baby spinach*
- 3 cups chopped kale
- 20 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 1/3 cup cooking sherry
- 15 oz ricotta
- 1 cup chopped basil
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, optional
- 2 cups shredded Raclette or Fontina cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Gruyère or Pecorino Romano cheese
prep the layers:
- Preheat your oven to 325ºF. Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the kale in a steamer basket and lower into the water. Cook until wilted but still a bit crunchy, about 1 minute. Remove and drain the kale in a colander.
- Place the spinach in the steamer basket and lower into the water. Cook until wilted, about 30 seconds. Remove and drain.
- Once the greens are cool, squeeze out all the water you can.
- Place the mushrooms in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring every now and then, until they release their juices and the juices have nearly evaporated. Add the cooking sherry, toss, and let cook until the sherry is almost evaporated, and then remove from the heat.
- Mix the ricotta, basil, thyme, and milk together in a medium bowl. Add the crushed red pepper if you want a bit of spice.
make the lasagna:
- Oil a 9×13″ baking dish. Line the bottom with a single layer of lasagna noodles going in the short direction (you’ll have to cut them). Use the back of a spoon to spread about 1/3 of the ricotta mixture across them. Top with about 1/4 of the marinara, using the spoon to spread it out evenly.
- Top the marinara with 1/3 of the kale, spinach, and mushrooms, spreading them out evenly.
- Add another layer of the noodles going the opposite direction (lengthwise) and repeat the layering, then repeat everything again. You should have 3 layers of noodles topped with filling.
- Finish with a final layer of noodles topped with marinara sauce and covered with the two cheeses.
- Cover tightly with foil (if necessary, use toothpicks to make sure the foil doesn’t touch the top) and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and turn on the broiler and cook for 10 minutes, until the top is golden brown in spots and bubbly.
- Cut with a sharp knife and serve immediately.
– I always use noodles that require boiling first because I hate when the no-boil ones never actually get soft enough. But if you’ve had success with no-boil ones then by all means!
– If you’re like AJ and prefer a really saucy lasagna, then I’d recommend using another half jar of marinara sauce. This is also a good idea if you are using no-boil noodles.
– You could also use a thawed bag of frozen wilted spinach instead of wilting it yourself. Drain well.