Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

This is a recipe loosely based on one I found in The Pure Joy of Monastery Cooking, by Brother Victor-Antoine d"Avila-Latourrette.  I have several of his cookbooks, and love all of them.  The original recipe uses Swiss chard instead of spinach, and has somewhat different seasonings.

I like to use no-bake lasagna noodles because they are much easier to work with while assembling the lasagna.  Make sure that you don't skimp on the tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan if you use them, since the noodles need the extra moisture to get soft.  If you use traditional lasagna noodles, you will likely need a little bit less tomato sauce.  Just follow the directions on the box to cook the noodles.

1 1/2 lbs. spinach, larger leaves torn
1 large onion, chopped
5 T olive oil
2 1/2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg
1 32 oz container part skim ricotta
2 t fresh thyme
3 T fresh basil
2 T dried oregano
salt and freshly ground pepper
No bake lasagna noodles
1 12 oz. can tomato sauce
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes


Preheat the oven to 350F

Heat 3 T olive oil in a 5 qt dutch oven, and add the onion.  Saute a few minutes until translucent, and then start adding the spinach, as much as will fit in the dutch oven at a time.  As the spinach wilts, add more until all spinach is wilted.  Put the pot aside.

Put the last 2 T oil in a large sauce pan, and heat.  Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until the mushrooms give up their moisture, about 3 or 4 minutes.  Put the pan aside.

Beat the egg in a large mixing bowl, then add the ricotta, herbs, salt and pepper.  Fold in the mushroom mixture.

Get out a fairly deep 9X13 pan, and pour the tomato sauce in the bottom.  Cover with several lasagna noodles, slightly overlapped.  Cover with half the spinach mixture, then half the mushroom-ricotta mixture.  Top with about 1/3 of the crushed tomatoes, and then repeat the layers one more time. Top with another layer of lasagna noodles and crushed tomatoes.  Cover with foil, and bake for 40 minutes.  Remove the foil, and continue cooking about 15-20 minutes more.  Serve with a crusty bread and a green salad.


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