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Julie’s Spinach Lasagna

My daughter Julie is a wonderful cook and a busy woman. This is quick because you don’t have to go through that lasagna noodle cooking routine. Plus, it’s delicious, relatively healthy and can be made in advance.

1 10 oz. box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 15 oz. container of ricotta cheese
1 egg
9 lasagna noodles, uncooked
4 cups tomato sauce or 32 oz. spaghetti sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella
2 TB parmesan cheese (Use freshly grated or anything that isn’t in a tall green can. That cheese always tastes like old sweat socks to me.)
1-2 tsp. each basil, oregano or other favorite Italian seasoning
1 cup water

Note on tomato sauce: Julie recommends using a small can of tomato sauce plus EITHER a large can of crushed tomatoes OR a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce. Total amount should be 32 oz. or 4 cups. If you are using all canned products, use more spices.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 pan.

Beat the egg lightly in a large bowl. Add the thawed spinach, the ricotta cheese and the spices. Add 1 cup of the mozzarella and 1 TB of the parmesan cheese. Mix together well.

Each layer of the lasagna will be constructed in the center of the lasagna pan, leaving an empty border around the outside.

Pour one cup of sauce into the pan. Place three noodles in the center of the pan, touching each other.

Gently spread half of the ricotta mixture across the noodles. Pour 2nd cup of sauce over the noodles.

Place three more noodles on top. Gently spread the other half of the ricotta mixture across the noodles.

Pour the 3rd cup of sauce over the noodles. Place the last three noodles on top. Pour the 4th cup of sauce over the noodles.

Top with the 2nd cup of the mozzarella cheese and 1 TB parmesan.

(If preparing lasagna in advance, stop at this point and refrigerate until ready to bake.) Can freeze at this point and defrost before baking.

When ready to bake in preheated 350 oven, pour 1 cup of water around the edges of the pan, creating a “moat.” Cover tightly with foil.

Bake at 350 for 75 minutes. Remove from oven, remove foil and let set for 15 more minutes before serving. Cut into 12 squares. You can add meat or leave out the spinach. I love it just the way it is. Thanks Julie.

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