This lasagne is lavish enough as it is, but some leftover cooked diced poultry, cooked crumbled sausage or sauteed mushrooms could make it even more interesting. A good use for leftover steamed Swiss chard, broccoli or asparagus spears is to substitute them for the spinach.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, minced
Leaves from 1 bunch spinach, washed and finely chopped
Parmesan Sauce (recipe below)
3/4 pound fresh lasagne noodles or 6 ounces dried noodles, cooked according to package directions
3 pounds reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1 can (16 ounces) sliced tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1 pound reduced-fat mozzarella or provolone cheese, sliced
1 cup parsley, minced
Using vegetable cooking spray, spray sides and bottom of 8-by-12-inch baking dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 12-inch skillet over low heat, heat the olive oil. Saute shallots and spinach together until spinach wilts (2 to 4 minutes).
Prepare Parmesan Sauce (see recipe below); spread 1/2 cup sauce over bottom of baking dish. Cover sauce with cooked lasagne noodles.
For first layer: Spread 1 pound ricotta over noodles in bottom of dish, cover with half of the tomatoes, then 1/2 cup Parmesan Sauce, a layer of leftovers (cooked meat, poultry or sausage), if used, and more noodles.
For second layer: Spread 1 pound ricotta cheese over noodles, cover with all of spinach mixture, half of the mozzarella, another 1/2 cup Parmesan Sauce and more noodles.
For final layer: Spread on remaining ricotta, tomatoes, mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan Sauce, and any remaining noodles. Top with remaining Parmesan Sauce and sprinkle with parsley.
Bake until lightly browned on top and bubbly around edges (about 35 to 40 minutes). Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8.
4 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook until golden brown (4 to 5 minutes). Slowly add milk, whisking until smooth and slightly thickened. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and Parmesan. Reserve.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups.