In recent years, we have found ourselves attending multiple services at church on Christmas Eve. We go to the children’s service for Hazel, and the candlelight service for me.
All that church means that preparing an elaborate Christmas Eve dinner is out of the question, so I’ve started making lasagna every year. This was an excellent decision. Last year I tried the Pioneer Woman’s lasagna recipe (with modifications), to much applause and cheering. This year, I made up a spinach and mushroom lasagna that also received rave reviews. Since I’ve been asked for the recipe twice, I figured I’d write it down. Here goes:
Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna
1 box lasagna noodles
2 boxes frozen chopped spinach
4 TB butter
1 tsp. Minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
8 oz. sliced mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
1/4 cup flour
4 cups milk
Salt & Pepper
15 oz. container ricotta (I used whole milk ricotta, because I’m Team Full Fat Dairy)
1 bag shredded Italian cheese blend
Preheat oven to 350.
Defrost your spinach and wring it out in a towel.
While your spinach is defrosting, melt the butter in a large skillet. When it’s hot, add the garlic, chopped onion and sliced mushrooms, and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir until no lumps of flour remain, then cook and stir another minute. Add the milk, and heat over medium to medium-high heat until mixture bubbles. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in defrosted spinach.
In a bowl, combine the ricotta and egg, and add a pinch of salt.
Ladle a few spoonfuls of the spinach sauce into a 9×13 casserole and spread that action around. Lay three lasagna noodles down, and top with dollops of the ricotta mixture (use about 1/4 of the mixture). Sprinkle about 1/4 of the shredded cheese over, and top with 1/4 of the remaining spinach sauce. Repeat these layers three more times, but on the last layer, put the shredded cheese on top.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour, or until lasagna is bubbly and you begin gnawing your fingers in anticipation. Let stand 30 minutes to firm up, then serve.
NOTE: I do not pre-cook my lasagna noodles. If you are assembling it to bake later, you should go ahead and cook your noodles.