Remember how I said I was eating more healthy foods here? Well, I am. But I’m also doing things like what’s pictured above, so you should probably ignore any health claims I make.
I’m TRYING to have willpower people, but then I go and do this to myself. Honest-to-Pete, this uses three cups of heavy cream, a whole stick of butter, and about fifty billion pounds of various cheeses. This? Oh this. This is a Roasted Garlic Spinach Alfredo Lasagna. And all God’s people said, “Yum and pass the elastic waist pants.” Good golly.
When I made this, the kids weren’t all nutso about the idea because I only have two children who like Alfredo sauce and they’re also card-carrying members of the no-visible-veg club. Besides, a.) it’ didn’t have a meat sauce, b.) it has visible green vegetables, and c.) where’s the meat? My husband and I, on the other hand, were just too happy to have two pans of this to ourselves. In fact, we were frightened by how happy we were to have this to ourselves. The Evil Genius exclaimed, “This is great! You need to make MORE food the kids don’t like!”
I’ve been mama to these honyaks their entire lives, so that this didn’t fly over well with them was not surprising to me. Not only did I see it coming, but I planned for the eventuality in dividing the lasagna between two pans rather than cooking it in one large one.
The idea was to freeze one pan of the lasagna to eat at a later date or give to a friend who was in need of a meal while eating the other one. And since my husband and I ARE both trying to eat right (*$&#&@$*[email protected]^#^), we each had one piece and I wrapped the chilled leftovers in individual servings for the freezer.
When one of us is on a business trip, the other can heat up a single serving of the good stuff for ourselves.
Before I share the recipe, I have to give you a couple of pictures from the “Keeping it real” file. I almost always photograph food on my porch because the light is free and easy out there. Have a good look at the dark area at the left edge of this picture. What do you think that is?
Have you guessed yet?
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It’s the chicken lasagna mafia. This hen was menacing my piece of heaven. She hopped up on the table and tried to peck it just as I whisked it away behind my back. Who knew chickens like lasagna? Little beast.
Roased Garlic Spinach Alfredo Lasagna | Make Ahead Mondays
For the Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce:
- 8-12 cloves of roasted garlic *See Notes, depending on how strong you'd like the roasted garlic flavour to be
- 1 stick unsalted butter 8 tablespoons or 1/4 of a pound
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
For the Lasagna:
- 2 boxes no-cook lasagna noodles. This recipe was prepared using Barilla brand noodles. 9 ounces each
- 1 batch Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce
- 1 bag of frozen cut leaf spinach thawed and squeezed to remove excess liquid
- 1 container part-skim ricotta cheese 32 ounce
- 8 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 1/2 cups milk divided
- non-stick cooking spray
To Make the Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce:
- Add the butter and roasted garlic cloves to a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. As the butter melts and the garlic cloves warm, smash them using a fork or a potato masher to break it up. Pour the heavy cream in and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and allow it to boil gently for 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Turn off the heat.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk it until it is even in colour. While whisking the eggs, slowly drizzle in two ladles full of the hot garlic cream mixture, then whisk it back into the remaining hot garlic cream mixture. When it is evenly combined, whisk in the grated cheese and set aside.
To Assemble the Lasagna:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Spray 2 8-inch by 8-inch pans that are at least 2-inches deep with non-stick cooking spray. Lay three lasagna noodles -slightly overlapping them- to cover the bottom of each pan. Spread about 2/3 of a cup of ricotta cheese in each pan over the noodles. You don't have to be perfect, you just want to try to distribute it relatively evenly. Scatter about 1/6th of the spinach over the ricotta in each pan. Drizzle a ladle full of Roasted Garlic Alfredo over each pan, then toss about 1 cup of shredded mozzarella over each pan. Repeat these layers two more times.
- Finally, finish the lasagna by adding one more layer of the noodles and splitting the remaining Alfredo Sauce between the two pans. Pour about 3/4 of a cup of milk slowly over each of the pans of lasagna, taking your time so it doesn't leak over the sides. Cover the pans tightly with foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, covered, or until the noodles are tender and the filling is bubbly. Uncover the pans, divide the remaining mozzarella between the two pans and bake, uncovered, until the cheese is melted and the edges appear browned.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting into 9 equal pieces and serving.
To Freeze and Reheat Leftover Lasagna:
- Method A: Chill the lasagna in the pan in the refrigerator overnight. Cover the pan tightly with foil then wrap with plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat the lasagna, remove the plastic wrap but leave the foil wrap intact, set on a rimmed baking sheet in a cold oven, and turn the heat to 350°. Once the oven reaches full temperature, begin timing for 30 minutes. The lasagna should be hot all the way through after 30 minutes. You can test this with an instant read thermometer or by inserting a butterknife into the center of the lasagna and carefully touching the knife to see whether it feels hot.
- Method B: Chill the lasagna in the pan in the refrigerator overnight. Cut the lasagna into 9 equal pieces. Use a spatula to carefully remove and transfer each piece of lasagna to a platter or plate. Wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Unwrap a lasagna piece, put on a microwave safe plate and drape the plastic wrap over the top. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, or until hot all the way through. Alternatively, you can place the piece in a small, oven-safe dish and warm in a 350°F oven for 20 or so minutes or until hot through.
You can use purchased or homemade roasted garlic in this recipe. If you'd like to make your own roasted garlic, preheat the oven to 300°F. Use a high-sided pan that is just slightly larger around than the number of heads of garlic you wish to use. I always roast at least 4 heads of garlic, because I use roasted garlic in quite a few dishes. Cut at least 1/2-inch from the tops of the heads of garlic to expose the cloves. If the heads are quite large, you may need to take off up to an inch to do this. Lay them cut side down in your pan and pour in enough olive oil to come halfway up the sides of the heads of garlic. This is why you're using a smaller pan! Cover the pan with foil and bake for about an hour, or until the heads of garlic give a little when squeezed gently with tongs. Transfer the roasted garlic to a paper towel to drain a little bit. Pour the oil through cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve and save for other recipes. When the heads of garlic are cool enough to handle, turn them cut side down over a bowl and squeeze to remove the cloves. Store this in a canning jar with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to a month!