This is probably not the recipe people are looking for the first week of January, but there are many reasons why you should store this in your arsenal:
• Bolognese is a great winter favorite that can be served over pasta, polenta or crepes.
• The homemade spinach pasta is simply DELICIOUS. It is integral to Marcella’s version, but this you can also enjoy in other dishes.
• Everyone has a birthday and this is the dish that Marcella herself recently made for her husband Victor’s birthday at his request.
• It’s much “lighter” than it seems by the title because the pasta is rolled very thin and is light as a feather.
Just happens to match my walls.
Cut the length of your pan with a little left over. I made the sheets wide, and used two sheets per layer.
Six Layers ready to go into oven.
- Recipe Baked Green Lasagna adapted from Marcella Hazan, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
- Bolognese Sauce found here. (You will have left over)
- Spinach Pasta
- Bêchemel Sauce
- Make bolognese sauce day ahead.
- Make pasta and bêchemel on same day.
- 6 oz fresh (one bag) fresh spinach, rinsed and dried thoroughly
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 t salt
- Mix spinach and flour together before adding egg. You can do by hand or in mixer with dough hook. Knead for about 5 minutes (if by hand).
- Wrap in plastic. Rest dough 30 minutes. During this time you can make Bêchemel sauce. Rolls out into wide 10 inch strips as thin as you can without tearing. You are going to make six layers of this pasta, but it will be as light as a feather.
- Cook pasta in large pot of salted water, a few at a time. Blanch for a minute or less, and immediately put into bowl of ice water. Remember to keep changing water with every few pasta strips to keep it ice cold. Then squeeze water out of pasta and dry on clean towels. This is important so pasta will not get mushy. It feels funny to wring out pasta, but it works.
- 3 cups milk
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 4 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- dash of nutmeg
Heat milk to a strong simmer. Heat flour and butter together without browning flour. Remove from heat.
Add hot milk to flour-butter mixture one tablespoon at a time. Put back on the heat and cook stirring constantly until thick.
- This is the fun part. The folks in Cooking Italy and I went back and forth discussing this dish more than any other. Should we layer the sauce with the Bêchemel or mix it together and how do we finish the top. I decided in the end to mix it together for the inside layers and top it with bêchemel. Top with Parmesan.
- Bake until bubbly at 400 degrees in uppermost rack of oven. Marcella suggests no longer than 15 minutes. I cooked it longer because I had refrigerated overnight before baking.
- Left over spinach lasagna noodles (or make extra) are delicious with just the sauce.