White & Green Lasagna
One of my goals for this year has been incorporating a larger variety of vegetables in to my diet, to go beyond the standard spinach, peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms that I tend to live on. While this will be much easier to do once farmer markets are in full swing this spring, I didn’t want to put off this goal for fear I would keep pushing it off. So I started exploring the hothouse vegetable section of my grocery store to see what was being produced locally. I didn’t expect to see much beyond root vegetables and tomatoes and with that was pleasantly surprised when I saw the plethora of greens waiting for me to give them a go. From bitter mustard greens to earthly collards to sweet baby spinach and all the colors of chard in between it was a mecca of leafy vegetables. I decided to grab a few varieties and see what all I could come up with. I’ll admit, most of the kale wound up being used in salad or juice form, but I when I realized I had grabbed more than I needed I started thinking of recipes that could use a large amount of greens. When it comes to fridge clean out I need to go to pizzas or pastas and this time was no different – except I decided to make my own lasagna sheets. Since the point of this meal was to use as many veggies as possible even the pasta wound up going green with the inclusion of spinach and kale though in the future I’ll make sure to process them more in order to get a more even distribution.
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1/4 cup durum flour
1 tbsp EVOO
1/4 cup kale, well washed and dry
1/4 cup spinach, well washed and dry
1 1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese, divided
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tbsp oregano
1 tsp savory
1 tsp crushed bay leaf
1 cup favorite white sauce, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 roma tomatoes, diced and divided
1/2 cup spinach, loosely torn
1/2 cup Swiss chard, loosely torn
1/4 cup kale, loosely torn
1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- For the pasta, use a food processor to partially puree the spinach and kale then set out a paper towel to dry.
- Blend the flours together in a large bowl, form a well in the middle and add the eggs and EVOO. Slowly mix the liquids into the flour mixture, once full incorporated fold in the spinach and kale mixture. Kneed mixture on a well floured surface for 5 minutes, dough should be stiff. Cover with towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes. (while resting prepare the filling below)
- Once dough has rested divide in to three balls and roll out. Pasta should be less than 1/4 of an inch thick. Use knife or pasta cutter to create the lasagna sheets, keeping the dough not in use covered to prevent it from drying out. Once the sheets are cut allow to rest for 5 minutes before forming the lasagna.
- For the filling, mix the ricotta cheese with the seasonings and garlic cloves. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400 F
- To assemble the lasagna spoon two tbsp of the sauce on the bottom of a 9x11 baking dish using a spatula to fully cover the bottom and sides. Place the first layer of the lasagna sheets on the bottom, trimming as needed to prevent overlays. Spoon 1/4 of the cheese mixture on top, along with a quarter of each of the vegetables. Top with enough sauce to just cover the noodles before beginning the next layer. Repeat until all filling has been used, ending with a layer of pasta. Top with the remaining sauce and the shredded cheeses.
- Bake at 400 for 35 minutes, the sauce should be brown and bubbling around the edge, along with an exposed pasta. Serve hot and enjoy!
This might not be the healthiest lasagna out there due to the cheese, however it does pack a healthy punch of vitamins and nutrients. I also like that this is another one of those dishes where there is no right or wrong ingredient – just add whatever vegetables are threatening to turn and enjoy!