Saturday, August 20, 2005
Gorgeous fruit, a rainy day and scrabble with friends is just about the perfect prelude to this lasagna Florentine. Round it out with a cool Italian ice and even a rainy day in Florida beats everything else.
1 12 oz package no boil lasagna
3 medium tomatoes
1 12 can tomato sauce
2 Tbls tomato paste
4 ounces good red wine
1 10 oz pkg fresh spinach
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs olive oil
8 ounces mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Romano
Add 2 Tbls olive oil to a hot pan and add begin to saute the onion, carrot and garlic. At the same time add the basil and oregano. Chop the tomatoes coarsely, add to pan along with sliced mushrooms. Cover and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes cook down.
Add tomato sauce, paste and wine. Cover and continue to cook on medium low another 20-30 minutes. Season as necessary with additional basil and oregano.
In a large oven ready casserole add a small amount of sauce. Place 3 uncooked pasta sheets to line the bottom of the dish . Spread 1/4 of the sauce on top. Add 1/4 (about 1 Cup) of the fresh spinach. Top with 1/4 of the mozzarella and a good portion of Parmigiano Romano. Cover with 3 more sheets of pasta. Repeat the layers 3 times. Pour any remaining sauce over the entire dish, cover and cook 30-40 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
Remove the lasagna and allow to cool/set covered for about ten minutes before serving.
Florence Italy known for its simple peasant style cuisine and the sun drenched hills of Bologna is home to some of Italy's great vegetable dishs. Catherine de Medici (1519-1589), Queen of France during the reign of Henry II, is said to have introduced Italian ice to the French Court as a reminder of her beloved Florence, she also brought them spinach. In fact spinach is abundant in Florentine cooking and now you'll taste why.