Friday, March 26, 2010

5 Cheese Lasagna

Everyone knows Lasagna is an Italian pasta dish. There are so many wonderful variations to this classic dish--meat, no meat, with marinara sauce, with bechamel sauce, etc.

The first published recipe was found in the first cookbook written and published in England which gave rise to the urban legend that the recipe was conceived in the British Isles.

Some speculate that the word lasagna originates from the Greek word lasana which means "chamber pot". The Romans borrowed the word from the Greek as "lasanum" which means "cooking pot" and the Italians named the dish lasagna after lasanum in honor of the dish it is served in.

An alternating theory speculates that the word lasagna is derived from the Greek word laganon which is a flat sheet of pasta dough cut into stripes.

1/4 cup butter OR margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes - minced

1 Tbls. minced garlic
3 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1 package frozen spinach

3 eggs

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup grated Romano cheese

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

12 lasagna noodles - prepared as directed, cooled

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup fontina cheese

Your favorite bottled marinara sauce

Parmesan for topping

1. Melt butter in a 1 quart saucepan.
2. Add flour and stir until it is thoroughly blended (no lumps). Stir until frothy.
3. Add milk. Stir constantly with a wire whisk until the mixture simmers.
4. Stir for 3-4 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Refrigerate.
5. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes. Chop or mince in a chopper or by hand. Place in a large bowl. Thaw and drain frozen spinach and add to bowl with tomato's.
6. Add garlic, ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, salt and pepper to the minced tomato's. Mix with a spoon or spatula.
7. Add 1 1/2 cups of the cooled cream sauce and mix until well blended.
8. Place 3 lasagna noodles in a 9" x 13" x 2" baking dish. Make sure you have lightly oiled the dish.
9. Spread 1.5 cups of the cheese filling on the noodles. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella and .25 cup of fontina cheese.
10. Repeat the pasta-cheese layering 3 more times (4 rows of pasta with 3 rows of filling). Make sure to top the lasagna with 3 lasagna noodles.
11. Pour 1/2 cup cream sauce over the top.
12. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
13. Remove from oven and pour marinara sauce. Top with mozzarella.
14. Bake at 350 for another 30 minutes.
15. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.


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