By Amanda McDanel –
My dog loves blueberries. She goes nuts over them. She also walks backwards. My daughter loves Brussels sprouts. They are one of her favorite foods. She also likes running around without pants.
We don’t have a cat but if we did it would probably love lasagna. I’m probably dating myself here with that reference—but just for any of you young whippersnappers—that’s a reference to a comic strip about a cat named Garfield. He’s still around but he was really popular in the 1980s. He’s kind of strange cat. He loves lasagna. He would have fit in well in my household.
As winter settles its blanket around us, lasagna is one of those comfort foods you often turn to warm up the belly and feed the soul. It is also a pain to make—boiling the noodles, stirring the sauce, layering it all together—so most people just turn to “old reliable,” aka Stouffer’s. I must admit, Stouffer’s does make a mean lasagna and takes the fuss and muss out of the homemade kind. Yet, being beef-free and having an adventurous palate, I find it a bit limiting.
What’s a girl to do when her options are limited yet so is her time? I present to you the easiest most delicious lasagna that is 1) healthy, 2) tastes amazing and 3) requires little work! What is great about this recipe is that it can be made ahead (as far as 2-3 days in advance), placed in the fridge to let the flavors dance around backwards and get friendly before you place it in the oven to bake. Best part: you don’t have to boil the noodles or buy the no-boil noodles. The liquid in the recipe plus the extra time sitting (at least overnight or okay, all day if you are in a rush) in the fridge makes them moist enough on their own so you can eliminate this step. Plus, you can double the recipe and freeze one entire pan that you can whip out once holiday company arrives hungry and road weary at your doorstep. You won’t even need them to bring their cat to scarf up any leftovers!
Spinach and Artichoke Lasagna
9 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can vegetable broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 (14 ounce) can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1 (28 ounce) jar tomato pasta sauce
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 (4 ounce) package herb and garlic feta, crumbled
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9”x13” baking dish with cooking spray.
Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Sauté onion and garlic for 3 minutes, or until onion is tender-crisp. Stir in broth and rosemary; bring to a boil. Stir in artichoke hearts and spinach; reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in pasta sauce.
Spread 1/4 of the artichoke mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish; top with 3 noodles. Sprinkle 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese over noodles. Repeat layers 2 more times, ending with artichoke mixture and mozzarella cheese.
Place in refrigerator overnight or for up to 3 days ahead. Take out of fridge and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Sprinkle crumbled feta on top.
Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover, and bake 15 minutes more, or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.