Tonight, I had dinner in the oven in under 15 minutes. When the girls came in from violin, I got to hear those wonderful words “YUM! It smells good!” Then, when they found out that is was lasagna, a new round of pleasant words erupted. However, my favorite was when Miss J looked in the oven and exclaimed “Is it the lasagna with the spinach? That is my FAVORITE!”
This is a quick dinner partly because it does not include the pasta noodles and partly because I keep a trick up my sleeve. The “noodles” part of this lasagna is just spinach leaves. Nothing more, nothing less. Just put those fresh spinach leaves down and layer the rest. The other trick is that I keep cooked ground turkey in the freezer. That makes putting together the sauce for this super easy.
So, start the timer and here we go . . .
Preheat your oven to 350 degree.
Put a pot on the stove and put a tablespoon or so of olive oil in there. Don’t worry about the measure; just put some on to heat. Grab an onion and dice up half of it. Toss it in the heated olive oil. Using a garlic press, put about 3 or 4 cloves of garlic in there. Cook it for a few minutes, until the onions start to turn translucent. Add a can of diced tomatoes (I like the petite diced) and a can of tomato paste. Use the tomato paste can to add a couple cans of water to the pot. Put salt, pepper, basil, and oregano in the pot. Stir to mix and taste. Adjust those spices to what you like. I would have added more garlic if I had my garlic granules but we are currently out. So, just do it until you like the taste. Toss in the ground meat until it has as much as you want. I added about a cup and a half. Stir it up good.
Now, in your dish that can go in the oven, layer all that you want. Start with a layer of spinach leaves. Don’t go thin here because they do wilt with the heat of the sauce and the oven. Put a good layer of sauce over the spinach. Layer a crumble cheese, then a small grated cheese, and then a large grated cheese. I use crumbled goat cheese, pecorino romano, and then grate a goat mozzarella-style cheese on top. You could easily do cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella. We use the other due to food allergies.
Cover it with foil. Stick it in a pre-heated oven (350 degrees) until it is heated through and you are ready to eat. I left it in for about 20 minutes because that is when the rest of my family got home. It would have been good in about 10 minutes, I think, because the sauce was already hot when I put it on the layers.
I was able to do up some garlic bread to go with it and everyone was thrilled!
Stop that timer! This took me about 35 minutes, including the 20 minutes that it was in the oven waiting for the family to get home. While it was in the oven, I washed up the dishes and swept the floor. Guys – this was an easy one!