One of the ways my mom made our day special was that we always got to pick our birthday meal. I always picked my mom's meat lasagna. I wanted to do something similar for my son's third birthday, but without meat. When I found this recipe I knew I found his special birthday meal. This was a fun and different way to eat a lasagna type meal.
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 cups Onion, minced
1 Tbs Garlic, minced
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1 Tbs Fresh Basil, chopped
1 1/4 tsp Salt, divided
1 lb Baby Spinach, coarse
15 oz Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
Pinch of Ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 1/2 cups Parmesan Cheese, divided
1/4 cup Flat-Leaf Parsley, minced
10-12 lasagna noodles, 10 inch length
3 cups Store Bought Pasta Sauce
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, thyme, basil and 1/4 tsp salt and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Add about a quarter of the spinach to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, about 2-5 minutes. Continue adding spinach until all the spinach is cooked.
- Drain the spinach mixture in a strainer, press down using the back of a spoon to extract liquid. Transfer spinach to a small bowl and set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, egg, nutmeg, pepper and remaining 1 tsp of salt, Parmesan cheese, and parsley. Mix well.
- Mix the spinach and cheese mixture together.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, add in lasagna noodles and cook according to pasta directions. Do not under cook. Cook a few extra noodles, just in case they don't all cook or if you have extra spinach mixture.
- Place rack in the center of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread 1 cup of the prepared pasta sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
- Cut each pasta noodle in half crosswise to make 20 pieces that are each about 4-5 inches long.
- Place a piece of the lasagna noodle on a work surface. Scoop some of the spinach mixture and place it on one end of the noodle (between 1/4 and 1/8 cup). Roll the noodle to enclose the filling. Place in the pan with the seam side down in baking dish. Continue this process until all the spinach mixture is gone. Fit the noodles in the baking dish closely together.
- Cover the noodles with the remaining 2 cups of sauce and 1 cup of Parmesan.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes. The sauce should be bubbling around the edges and the Parmesan should look a bit melted.
- Serve hot.
|It seems like a lot of spinach, but once it's cooked it really isn't.|
|All rolled up.|
|Ready to bake.|
|Ready to eat!|
What are your favorite birthday memories? Do you remember the food of your childhood birthdays?