Friday, May 13, 2011
Rolled Lasagna with Kale and Spinach in a Tomato Cream Sauce
What You'll Need:
1/2 lb kale (weighed with stems)
1/2 lb spinach
1 tbsp olive oil
8-10 lasagna noodles (based on length)
2 tbsp butter/butter substitute
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion
8 oz feta cheese- crumbled
4 oz (about 1 cup) finely diced mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (I used vegan Parmesan in order to avoid the animal based rennet)
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper To Taste
4 tbsp butter/butter substitute
4 tbsp whole wheat flour
3 cups milk (I used unsweetened Almond milk- personal preference)
2/3 cup tomato puree
*To save money, I used 4 oz of tomato paste with 1 cup of water and mixed well. It's all the same.
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp oregano
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
*I avoid salt whenever possible and instead I used a salt-free all season instead
Rinse kale and spinach well by dunking it in a large bowl of cold water. Cut off stems and any thick leaf ribs and compost/discard. Roughly chop the greens and place in a large (6+ quart) pot with a few tablespoons of water. Cover the pot and steam under bright green and tender (about 5 minutes). DO NOT overcook or the greens will turn an olive brown and have an over powering flavor. Drain in a colander, set aside, and let cool.
Meanwhile, using the same large pot, boil the lasagna noodles under tender but not mushy. Drain, run cool water over, and toss with olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.
Once the greens are cool enough to handle, squeeze out remaining moisture with your hands. Chop the greens to a fine texture (not so much that it is minced). In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add garlic and onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add greens and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Place the greens mixture in a large bowl and add in cheese, salt, and pepper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
The sauce: In a medium saucepan melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until blended. Cook this roux for about 2 minutes whisking frequently. Add the milk, tomato product, nutmeg, remaining seasonings and whisk to blend. Cook for 7 minutes, or until the sauce come to a boil whisking often. Remove from heat.
*if your sauce isn't thick enough, add 1/4 tablespoon of flour and whisk until well blended. You may have to do this twice.
To assemble the lasagna: Pour a little of the sauce in a large baking dish to coat the bottom. Lay your lasagna on your work surface and spread about 1/8 (or 1/10 for smaller noodles) of the greens mixture evenly over it. It doesn't make to be perfect, the mixture will spread when it bakes. Roll the lasagna loosely. Repeat this with rest of the noodles. Pour the remaining sauce over top of the rolled noodles. At this point feel free to add more Parmesan cheese or spices to the top for aesthetics.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
About the meal: This is easily the best Italian dish I have ever made. I recommend serving it with fresh farm bread, a vegetable heavy salad, and red wine.