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3 Tasty Twists on Lasagna

Recipes for: Tricolor Lasagna, Creamy Seafood Lasagna, No-Noodle Eggplant Lasagna
Lasagna with spinach
Date: February 1, 2016      Publication: Bottom Line Personal      Source: Linda  Gassenheimer      Print:

Lasagna is a great make-ahead dish so that you can enjoy your company when they come over. But sometimes you don’t want to serve the same old thing. These recipes take this traditional pasta dish to delicious new heights. All of the recipes are for a 10-by-6-inch lasagna pan. An 8-by-8-inch glass cake pan also can be used. The recipe can be doubled and baked in a 13-by-8-inch pan. For recipes that call for red sauce, use homemade or your favorite brand—I like Walnut Acres certified organic low-sodium pasta sauce.

After cooking, the Tricolor Lasagna and No-Noodle Lasagna can be kept in the refrigerator for a day or frozen for a week. Before serving, bring to room temperature, cover with foil and warm in the oven at 300°F for 30 minutes or until warmed through. I don’t recommend freezing the seafood lasagna—the texture will change—but it can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.

Tricolor Lasagna

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This lasagna has three colorful layers with a delicious blend of flavors.

1 cup pasta sauce

Zest of 1 orange

For the spinach layer…

1 Tablespoon olive oil

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1 cup chopped onion

1 pound washed baby spinach

4 Tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground black
pepper

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For the cheese layer…

½ cup cream cheese

6 Tablespoons heavy cream

¼ cup crumbled blue cheese

Freshly ground black pepper

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Precooked lasagna noodles (You will need 6 to 7 noodles.)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Add the pasta sauce to a small saucepan, and mix in the orange zest. Warm the sauce, and set it aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, and add the onion. Sauté until the ­onion is transparent, not brown, about five minutes. Add the spinach in batches, and turn it over in the skillet until all the spinach is wilted. Remove the spinach and onion with a slotted spoon, leaving the liquid in the skillet (discard liquid). Chop the spinach and onion in a food processor or by hand. Drain in a sieve to remove as much liquid as possible. Place the drained spinach and onion in a bowl, and add the cream, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

Rinse the food processor, and add the cream cheese, heavy cream, blue cheese and black pepper to taste (the cheese provides enough salt). Process until smooth.

To assemble: Spread a thin layer of pasta sauce over the bottom of the ­lasagna pan. Place a layer of noodles over the sauce. Do not overlap them. Spread half the spinach over the noodles. Place a second layer of noodles over the spinach. Spread half the cheese mixture over the noodles. Place a third layer of noodles over the cheese. Spread the remaining spinach over the noodles. Spread the remaining pasta sauce over the spinach. Layer the remaining cheese mixture over the spinach and sauce.

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Bake for 30 minutes. Remove, and let rest for 15 minutes. Cut into squares. Serves four.

 

Creamy Seafood Lasagna

A white sauce flavored with clam juice, fresh thyme and Parmesan cheese is the base for this tasty dish featuring shrimp and scallops.

2  teaspoons canola oil

1  cup chopped onion

2  cups sliced button mushrooms

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼  cup butter

¼  cup flour

1  cup skim milk

1 cup clam juice (one 8-ounce bottle)

3 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 Tablespoon dried)

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Precooked lasagna noodles (You will need 6 to 7 noodles.)

6 ounces peeled, uncooked small shrimp

¾ pound sea scallops

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the canola oil in a skillet, and add the onion and mushrooms. Cook until the onion is transparent, not brown, about five minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a separate saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour. Stir with a whisk until the flour is smooth. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly to thicken. Add the clam juice and thyme, and stir until the sauce starts to thicken again. Mix in the Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble: Spoon a thin layer of the white sauce onto the bottom of the ­lasagna pan. Place a layer of noodles over the sauce. Do not overlap them.

Spread half the mushroom mixture over the noodles. Place the shrimp in one layer over the mushrooms. Place a second layer of noodles over the shrimp. Spoon half the remaining white sauce over the noodles.

Spread the remaining mushroom mixture over the sauce. Place the scallops over the mushrooms in one layer. Slice the scallops in half if they’re very large.

Place a third layer of noodles over the scallops. Spoon the remaining white sauce over the noodles.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove, and let rest for 15 minutes. Cut into squares. Serves four.

 

No-Noodle Eggplant Lasagna

The eggplant is sautéed and used in place of noodles. Use two large skillets to speed up the sauté time.

1 medium eggplant (about ¾ pound)

1½ Tablespoons olive oil, divided use

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ cup sliced onion

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1½ cups ricotta cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup basil leaves, in bite-size pieces

1 egg

1 cup pasta sauce

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the eggplant into quarter-inch rounds. Heat one-half tablespoon of the olive oil in each of two skillets over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant slices, and sauté two to three minutes per side or until they are soft. Remove the eggplant to a plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the remaining one-half tablespoon of olive oil to one skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion, garlic and mushrooms together until the onion is transparent, about five minutes.

Mix the ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan together. Add the basil and egg.

To assemble: Spoon a thin layer of pasta sauce over the bottom of a lasagna dish. Place a layer of eggplant slices over sauce. Spread about one-third of the pasta sauce over the eggplant. Spread one-third of the ricotta mixture over the pasta sauce. Spoon one-half of the mushroom mixture over the ricotta. Place a second layer of eggplant slices over the mushrooms. Spread another third of the ricotta mixture over the eggplant. Spread the remaining mushroom mixture over the ricotta. Spread another third of the remaining pasta sauce over the mushrooms. Place a third layer of eggplant slices over the pasta sauce. Spoon the rest of the pasta sauce over the eggplant. Spread the remaining ricotta mixture as the last layer.

Bake for 40 minutes. Remove, and let rest for 15 minutes. Cut into squares. Serves four.

Source: Linda Gassenheimer is an award-winning author of numerous cookbooks, most recently, Delicious One-Pot Dishes: Quick, Healthy, Diabetes-Friendly Recipes. Based in Florida, she writes the syndicated ­newspaper column “Dinner in Minutes” (DinnerInMinutes.com). The recipes in this article are from Delicious One-Pot Dishes.