Speedsagne!

Ignore that this post has nothing to do with pizza. As a cook and baker, I like to make stuff at home, including speedsagne, a big hit for the family. The "speed" part is that I can make it in about 20 minutes, if I move quickly. Here's how I do it:

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of no-boil lasagne noodles
  • 1 jar or can of marinara
  • 1 28 oz can of either plum or diced tomatoes, pulsed in a food processor
  • ½ lb of whatever cheese you like, shredded - save some for the top
  • 1 small container of ricotta - stretch it with cottage cheese if you have any
  • 1 bag of frozen spinach - this is the key so keep reading
  • 2 eggs
  • a handful of grated parm
  • a sprinkling of Italian seasoning

 

First, I preheat the oven to 375° and oil the 9"x13" pan (I typically use the traditional glass Pyrex) and set it aside.

Then, I blend the jar and canned tomato in a large bowl and add seasoning. I'll often add garlic and onion powder, and a good sprinkle of thyme and/or oregano (fresh if you have it, dry is totally fine).

To use the spinach while still frozen -- without opening the bag -- I smash the bag (containing the spinach) on my cutting board so it breaks up, before adding into the mix.

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 Then, in the biggest mixing bowl, blend the cheeses, eggs, seasoning, and the frozen spinach. Mix it all together. 

I like to use a "make line" when I cook. I set out the ingredients in front of me, across the cutting board: I put my noodles on the far end, then the bowl of sauce (ladle), the spinach mixture (large spoon), and lastly, another small bowl for the shredded cheese.

Starting with enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan, I put each noodle in, side-by-side, and add a blob or two of the spinach mixture on each noodle.

Then add small sprinkling of the shredded cheese, a half ladle-full of tomato sauce, and put each noodle on top. Then repeat and repeat again.

When you get to the top, put the remaining noodles on with enough sauce to cover the surface entirely, top with the rest of the shredded cheese, and if you want to go big, grate some fresh parm on top.

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Wrap the pan tightly in foil and put it in the pre-heated oven. Cook until the center looks like the cheese in the middle is only starting to melt, ~30-35 min. Take the foil off and put it back in the oven for however long it takes to have a nice golden crust of cheese on top, ~20-30 min. If it feels like it's taking too long, you can always crank the oven up to 400°. Results may vary.

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Here's the key:

The frozen spinach in the mixture contains water, which will steam off in the oven. That steam, releasing from the frozen spinach, creates just the right amount of water required by the no-boil noodles. Genius, right?!

When I make too much, I'll make the rest in a smaller pan and freeze it. It comes out great.