Spinach and Ricotta Lazy Lasagna

This quick version of lasagna is made with leftover pasta so you can make it any night of the week. You can use leftover sauced pasta instead of buttered pasta, just omit the puréed tomatoes. Add a few knobs of butter in the cheese layers for an even richer tasting lasagna.


2 heaping cups leftover cooked short cut pasta tossed in butter, such as penne
Oil or butter, for greasing baking dish
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
8 ounce (250 gram) container ricotta
1 egg, beaten
Pinch nutmeg, freshly ground
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
About 1 1/4 cup to 1 1/2 cup jarred puréed tomatoes or tomato sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch x 8-inch square baking dish.

Heat large fry pan over medium heat. Add olive oil. When olive oil is hot, add garlic. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add spinach, salt and pepper and cook until just wilted. Remove from pan. When cool, squeeze out any excess moisture and then mix with ricotta, 1/4 cup Parmesan, egg and nutmeg. Set aside.

Layer evenly in the baking dish: 1/4 cup tomatoes, 1 cup pasta, 1/2 cup tomatoes, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, all of the spinach and ricotta filling, remaining pasta, 1/2 cup more tomatoes, remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. (Note: If you prefer your lazy lasagna more saucy, add 1/4 cup additional puréed tomatoes.)

Cover with foil. Bake until cheese is melted and pasta is thoroughly heated through, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered, until cheese is golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings.