Lasagna can definitely please a crowd! Just layer the ingredients, bake, and serve!
Lasagna is a baked pasta that has many layers. It originates from Naples, Italy and was created during the Middle Ages. The original Naples dish was layered with wide pasta, sausage, hard boiled eggs, sauce, and different cheeses. The different regions of Italy have their own unique version of lasagna. The first recorded recipe for lasagna was in the 14th century book Liber de Coquina or The Book of Cookery. The name lasagna comes from the Greek word laganon which was the world’s earliest form of pasta. The laganon was pasta dough that was rolled out into sheets and were the base for the Greek version of lasagna called pastitsio.
Lasagna has always been a favorite dish in my family. When I was little my parents would take my brother and me to this family-owned Italian restaurant. The dining room was dark, but it sparkled with candles everywhere. The walls had water color paintings of Italian cities, and the shelves were always lined with comically large bottles of wine. As soon as we would sit down we were given a basket of warm bread and pats of butter. The best part of the experience was when the entrees came. Their pasta dishes were the tastiest part of the menu, but none could compare to the lasagna. The individual square slice was presented fresh from the oven in an oval-shaped oven proof dish. The edges of the cheesy top would drip down the pasta layers and collide with the pool of red sauce that surrounded the lasagna. The flavors of fresh pasta, cheese, sauce, and beef all melded together perfectly.
Lasagna can easily be made at home. Many people are intimidated by the layers, but once they get the hang of it they see how simple the process can be. It is a dish that can be made ahead and then baked later, which makes it perfect for no fuss entertaining. Just serve lasagna with a salad and some bread, then the dinner party can begin. Plus it is all baked in one dish so the clean up is minimal. Please enjoy my lasagna recipe! Happy entertaining!
Easy Beef and Spinach Lasagna Recipe
Yields 6 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 to 14 minutes
Bake Time 40 minutes
Inactive Time 15 minutes
Wine Pairing Suggestion: Chianti or Pinot Grigio
Beer Pairing Suggestion: Pale Ale
1/4 white onion, chopped
4 ounces lb ground beef
Salt and Pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground parsley
8 ounces frozen spinach
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup Bechamel sauce
8 ounces no boil lasagna noodles
2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
Garnish: Fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 375 F.
In a saute pan on medium heat, saute the onion in some olive oil for 3 minutes. Add the ground beef to the onions. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and parsley. Brown for 4 minutes. Remove to a separate plate.
Heat up some olive oil in the pan and add the frozen spinach. Cook until warm, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to the plate with ground beef and onions.
Mix together the red sauce and the Bechamel sauce.
Get a 2.2 quart casserole/baking dish and begin to assemble to the lasagna.
Assembly: Layer 1/4 of the sauce to the bottom of the baking dish. Add 1/4 of the lasagna noodles. Add 1/4 of the onions, beef, and spinach mixture. Add 1/4 of the Parmesan cheese. Repeat until you have four layers.
Top lasagna with mozzarella cheese. Cover with tin foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the tin foil and bake for 10 more minutes. Make sure the mozzarella is bubbly and the lasagna is golden.
Let the lasagna rest for about 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley.
Serve warm with a salad or green vegetable and focaccia bread.
Vegetarian Variation: Replace the beef with sauteed mushrooms.
Feel free to use regular fresh or boxed lasagna noodles, just make sure to boil them according to package instructions.
DID YOU MAKE THIS DISH?
Tag @culinary_cupcake when you upload your photo on Instagram and hashtag #culinary_cupcake