Monday, February 27, 2012

Quick, Creamy Spinach-Mushroom Lasagna

Last year about this time, I wrote an oddly (to me) well-received post about Lent and Ash Wednesday and fasting. I had plans of doing a similar post this year, but the moment kind of passed me by. Hopefully it will suffice to say that I love Ash Wednesday and Lent and not just because I look pretty good in purple (liturgical joke). I planned and led a service at the hospital, and it was an amazingly sacred space and time, to intimately touch people’s foreheads and mark them as mortal and frail and human in the midst of a place that directly confronts people’s mortality. It was one of the best moments of my ministry there so far.

photo (13)

This Lent is particularly special for me since I’m also preparing for being ordained to the priesthood on Easter Saturday. That in and of itself is a pretty intense spiritual undertaking. So, I’m not really “doing” anything for Lent, at least nothing that I can put in a little soundbite and convey to you all. In fact, for where I am with God right now, giving up “doing” is probably exactly what I need to do, so there.

But some people give up meat, and for you, there is this lasagna! It comes together pretty easily for a lasagna, not that I would know because Joe actually made this while I was at work. He also changed a few proportions, leaving out a few noodles and 1/3 of the cream cheese. It was still good. Make half for now and freeze the other half for a fast dinner in a few weeks. Double-duty dinner!


Pam Anderson’s Quick, Creamy Spinach-Mushroom Lasagna
source: Runner’s World


15 oven-ready, rippled style lasagna noodles
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sliced mushrooms
2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed dry)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup vegetable broth
3 cups marinara sauce (no sugar added or low-sugar)
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400°F.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, sauté until tender and well browned, about 7 minutes. Add spinach, sauté until heated through. Combine spinach-mushroom mixture with the basil, 8 ounces of cream cheese, and 1/4 cup broth. Mix remaining 4 ounces cream cheese with 1/4 cup broth in a small bowl; set aside.

To assemble, spread 1/3 cup marinara on the bottom of baking dish, then assemble 4 layers in the following order: 3 lasagna noodles, 2/3 cup marinara, 1 cup spinach-mushroom filling, 3/4 cup mozzarella, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Top with remaining 3 noodles, the cream cheese-broth mixture, 3/4 cup mozzarella, and 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Cover with cooking spray-coated foil and bake until bubbly, about 45 minutes. Leaving lasagna on same rack, turn oven to broil. Remove foil and broil until lasagna is golden brown, 5 minutes. Remove from oven; let sit for 10 minutes.