Spinach, Lemon, Ricotta and Pine Nut Lasagne

Spinach, Lemon, Ricotta and Pine Nut Lasagne by Sarah Topps

Our competition entry – Spinach, Lemon, Ricotta and Pine Nut Lasagne. Delicious and light and a great alternative to the more traditional recipe.
For the pasta:
600g 00 Flour
6 eggs
(you can use packet lasagne if you don’t have time to make your own but this is so much better!)

For the filling:
A huge bunch of spinach
2 tubs ricotta (or equivalent of fresh if you can get it! – Giselle!!!)
2 Lemons, juice and rind
Plenty of Grated Nutmeg
1 bag pine nuts toasted
A few chilli flakes
2 beaten eggs

For the sauce:
70 g butter
30 g all-purpose flour
1 litre milk
pinch salt
freshly grated nutmeg
black pepper

Oven-proof dish 30 / 20 cms approx.

To make the pasta:
1. In a bowl, sieve the flour and make a well in the centre.
2. Crack in the eggs and incorporate by hand
3. Knead for 5 minutes until dough is soft and silky (this can be done by hand or in mixer or bread machine)
4. Place in fridge, covered for 1/2 hour to relax the dough
5. Cut dough into manageable pieces (6)
6. Roll very thinly (the thinner the better) using a pasta machine or rolling pin
7. Cut into oblong strips to fit your lasagne dish and hang up to slightly dry out

To make the filling:
1. Blanch spinach very briefly in boiling salted water and drain well. Cool
2. Drain ricotta well to remove any excess liquid
3. Add ricotta, lemon juice and rind, nutmeg, salt, pepper, pine nuts, parmesan,chilli and eggs to spinach and mix well

To make the sauce:
1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
2. Once melted, stir in the flour until smooth. Continue stirring as the flour cooks to a light, golden, sandy color, about 7 minutes.
3. Increase heat to medium-high and slowly whisk in milk until thickened by the roux.
4. Bring to a gentle simmer, then reduce heat to low and continue simmering until the flour has softened and not longer tastes ‘floury’, 10 to 20 minutes, then season with salt and nutmeg.

Heat oven to 165oC

Now layer the ingredients into your dish, starting with a layer of white sauce, then a layer of pasta, then the spinach mix. Keep going until your dish is full to the top.

Bake on 165oC for 40 – 50 minutes until golden brown and bubbly on top.

Eat with a crisp green salad.

PS The recipe makes quite a lot of pasta and spinach filling so we had plenty left to make ravioli for our next meal – yummy!


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