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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Spinach-Artichoke Ravioli-Lasagna

Source: Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals

I don't completely consider this meal a success. While it turned out good, and was filling it wasn't as easy to make as Rachel made it look. It certainly didn't come together in 30 minutes. But to some extent it was my own fault because I misread my measuring spoon. I pulled out the 1 tsp spoon instead of the 1 Tbsp, which resulted in me not adding enough flour to the butter. Oh well, live and learn.

  • 1 (10-ounce) packages chopped frozen spinach
  • 1/4 stick butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart milk
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste (omitted)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese (used 1 15oz container)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest (omitted)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 packages large fresh ravioli cheese, wild mushroom or spinach stuffed varieties (used 2 24oz frozen bags of cheese ravioli)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans artichoke hearts in water, drained and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (used grated in the can and didn't measure)
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta.
  • Place oven rack in middle of oven and preheat broiler or oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Defrost the spinach in the microwave for 10 minutes on high.
  • While spinach defrosts, heat a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Cut butter into small pieces and melt. Whisk in flour and cook a minute or 2 then whisk in milk. Bring sauce to a bubble, as it begins to thicken, drop heat to low and season it with nutmeg, salt and pepper, to your taste.
  • Combine ricotta cheese, a little salt and pepper, lemon zest and garlic in a bowl.
  • Cook pasta to al dente, 5 to 6 minutes in salted water.
  • Remove spinach from the microwave and wring it completely dry in a kitchen towel. Open the towel and separate the spinach with your fingers. Pile up the sliced artichokes on your cutting board.
  • Drain pasta well. Ladle just enough white sauce in the bottom of a lasagna dish to lightly coat it. Top with 1/3 of the pasta. Top the pasta with a layer of half of the ricotta cheese dotted with half of the spinach and artichokes. Thinly cover the veggies with more white sauce then top liberally with grated cheese. Repeat these layers then top your lasagna with the remaining 1/3 of the cooked ravioli, the last of the white sauce and some grated cheese.
  • Place under hot broiler or into a preheated 425 degree F oven until sauce browns and bubbles, 3 minutes (cooked a bit longer, like 10 minutes)
Next Time- While this had great flavor there are a few changes I would make. Cut the artichokes down to 1 can. Also dice them smaller. The only other change would be to make the Bechamel sauce right the first time. I was happy with the amount of ricotta cheese, I don't feel the 3 cups is needed. Mozzarella cheese melted on top could be a nice addition, but with all the cheese in the ravioli and the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses I thought that would be a little much.

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