Monday, July 11, 2011

Manic Monday Meals- Ravioli and Spinach Lasagna

I kind of skipped 2 weeks with the Manic Monday Meals.  The first week I just honestly forgot, then last week Monday was the 4th of July which is also Kimmy's birthday.  Not to mention I was doing the Parenting in America blog Carnival here and participating in the Freedom of Cloth Carnival over at Natural Parents Network.

This is a family favorite, we haven't ate "normal" lasagna since I first stumbled upon this idea 8(ish) months ago.  Since I already posted it on 3 Moms and a Kitchen back in December I decided to be lazy and just repost here.  This is a great way to sneak some spinach to your kids.  Teddy, self professed hater of all things green (except green apples and Lemondrop melon-which he will specify when asked if he likes "green foods"!) LOVES this lasagna.

An even EASIER (and lazier) meal is to just make the ravioli, add sauce and cooked spinach and top with Parmesan cheese- VIOLA!

Ravioli and Spinach Lasagna

Ravioli & Spinach Lasagna

I usually make the basic lasagna that everyone makes with sauce, noodles, meat and cheese but recently I tried this ravioli/lasagna hybrid and we all love it so much that this is the only way I make lasagna now.

What you will need:
2 bags frozen (or refrigerated) ravioli's, thawed out.  I get 1 bag of cheese and 1 bag of meat.
1 bag frozen spinach-you can use fresh if you like
1 lbs hamburger cooked and drained
1 jar spaghetti sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (more or less depending on taste)

Step 1: Prep Spinach and Cook Meat-
You will want to thaw out the spinach and rinse in a colander. 

Then scoop it all up into a clean, dry kitchen towel (a sturdy paper towel may work but most likely will break apart).
Make sure the spinach is nested into the center of the towel, wrap around and squeeze ALL the water out..  You have no idea how much water is in there.  I use twisting, wringing motions to get it all out.  Don't panic if it turns your towel slightly green, this will wash out.

Spinach after al water has been
squeezed out.

Cook hamburger meat and drain grease-Hamburger can be optional, my hubby is a total meat eater so I include this but you could easily leave it out if you wanted/needed.

1st layer of lasagna
Step 2: Assemble Lasagna-

In a 9x13 pan spoon a couple of tablespoons of sauce in the bottom-I like to add a drizzle of olive oil as well but that is optional.  The favorite (and usually only unless its sold out) type of sauce we use in our house is Ragu Sweet Italian Sausage & Cheese.-gives a very unique sweet and tangy taste to this dish.  Any sauce will work but if you can and want, give this flavor a shot.  When I cannot find this kind I use Ragu Sweet Sundried Tomato & Basil
Spread sauce (and oil) around the bottom of the pan with the spoon to evenly coat.  You do not need a lot, just enough so that the ravioli's do not stick.
Layer ravioli's 4 across in rows.  I like to alternate mine 1 row cheese, 1 row meat.  You can also just use all cheese or all meat ravioli's if you want.
Once there is a solid layer of ravioli's all the way across the pan take 1/2 of the spinach and sprinkle on top.

Lasagna all done and ready to devour

To this add 1/2 of the shredded cheese.
In a separate mixing bowl combine hamburger and 1/2 of the sauce and mix together.
Spread ALL of the hamburger/sauce mixture on top of the 1st layer of the lasagna.
Repeat with the rest of the ravioli's, remainder of spinach, sauce and then the rest of the cheese.

Step 3: Bake Lasagna-
Cover lasagna with foil and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.
Remove foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly on top.
Top with shredded Parmesan if desired.

This goes great paired with cheesy garlic pinwheels or Tanya's garlic bread and a side salad.

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