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need advice: adding fresh spinach to lasagne recipe

s
sophia519 Jan 16, 2011 06:35 AM

I am making a vegetarian lasagne and substituting spinach for broccoli. Do I need to cook the fresh spinach first? If so, what is the easiest method?

  1. coastie Jan 16, 2011 08:46 AM

    Lots of good advice from everyone. I would blanch, I would also rough chop. Provides a better end result

    1 Reply
    1. re: coastie
      s
      sophia519 Jan 18, 2011 12:39 PM

      Yes, thank you all for the good advice. I ended up doing a quick stir fry with red pepper flakes, as suggested and then loosely putting in a strainer while I assembled other ingredients. I did use the Barilla no bake sheets and I think it would have been fine if I hadn't strained the spinach. I also chopped the spinach, as suggested. It turned out beautifully! The recipe was from Epicurious: Red, White and Green Lasagne:

      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

    2. r
      rainey Jan 16, 2011 08:43 AM

      I don't. I use bagged baby spinach and just throw the leaves into a layer on top of the cheese.

      Do it all the time and I have't noticed any wateriness.

      1. f
        fourunder Jan 16, 2011 07:10 AM

        I would agree with others that you should cook the spinach first, but disagree with the squeezing out of all the liquids....especially if you are going the no boil noodles route. Simply letting the spinach cool in a strainer is all I do and I never press the spinach to exact out all the moisture. My end result never ends up with soggy cheese or noodles.

        1. greygarious Jan 16, 2011 07:05 AM

          I neither cook nor wring out the spinach, or any other vegetables I am adding to the filling. I compensate by using a slightly thicker sauce base, either tomato or white. Also, I prefer Barilla no-boil noodles so they need some extra liquid. More so than traditional lasagne, I find that vegetarian ones benefit from cooling and later reheating, which allows flavors to meld, and any excess vegetable juices to be reabsorbed by the cheese and pasta.

          1. d
            debbiel Jan 16, 2011 06:59 AM

            I do a quick saute (with some garlic and red chile flakes), let it cool, and then squeeze out the water.

            3 Replies
            1. re: debbiel
              CCSPRINGS Jan 16, 2011 07:14 AM

              I would agree with the garlic and red pepper saute. I would let it cool in a strainer to let it drain, not squeezing or pressing too much in order to keep some juice. Only fresh spinach in my house.

              1. re: CCSPRINGS
                d
                debbiel Jan 16, 2011 08:33 AM

                Good point on the strainer CCSprings. I don't do a really strong squeeze, but the strainer is probably a better idea.

                1. re: debbiel
                  a
                  arp29 Jan 16, 2011 08:41 AM

                  I cook and squeeze dry, also. I use my ricer to accomplish this and it works great!

            2. a
              AdamD Jan 16, 2011 06:40 AM

              I would say yes otherwise it will release water into your lasagne.
              You can can stir fry or boil it. Just make sure you squeeze all the water out of it before you add it to the lasagne.

              If you are adding cheese, you could mix it in with the ricotta.

              1 Reply
              1. re: AdamD
                m
                mountaincachers Jan 16, 2011 06:50 AM

                Agree that the most important part is squeezing all the water out or it will be a soupy, watery mess. I make a black bean and spinach lasagna, and, to be honest, use frozen spinach. I thaw it, then squeeze out the water. It seems like starting with fresh would be more expensive and not much different in the final outcome. I also mix the spinach in with the ricotta/egg part, which I think helps with the watery issue as well.

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