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Spinach and Tomato Lasagna

From Cook's Country December/January 2012 Why this recipe works: To make a spinach lasagna worthy of its name, the first step was simple: increase the spinach. Frozen spinach tastes just as good as fresh and cuts down on kitchen time as well. For the finest, most even texture, we use the food processor to chop the spinach and to smooth out the ricotta cheese. The final secret for extra spinach flavor is using some of the spinach liquid but not enough to make the lasagna watery. We nixed the traditional creamy béchamel in favor of a fresh, herb-flecked tomato sauce but still layered in plenty of mozzarella and Parmesan for added richness. Serves 8 to 10


Our favorite lasagna noodles are Barilla No Boil. You can thaw the spinach overnight in the refrigerator instead of microwaving it. But do warm the spinach liquid to help smooth the ricotta.
30 ounces frozen chopped spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
5 garlic cloves, minced
teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
24 ounces (3 cups) whole-milk or part-skim ricotta cheese
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1½ cups)
2 large eggs
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
12 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (3 cups)

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