White Lasagna Alfredo

This alfredo lasagna can be make vegetarian, with shredded chicken, or with Italian pork. It uses spinach, which I usually buy cut and frozen. If the spinach in the produce department looks good I will use that. Sauté it in butter over medium heat but for best results, chop before cooking. Also, use the leaf and stems. There is a lot of flavor in the stems of greens such as spinach, parsley, and cilantro.

This recipe assumes you have already made the white sauce. If you want to make your sauce from scratch, because no self-respecting chef uses store-bought processed sauce, you can try my Alfredo sauce. Also, don’t forget the garlic bread.

This is a pretty rich lasagna so it feeds more people than a traditional red sauce lasagna. That’s a nice way of saying serve slightly smaller pieces. Make sure to let the lasagna cool for at least 15 minutes after coming out of the oven; it gives the cheeses a chance to firm up and ensures your guest won’t burn their mouths.

Ingredients

  • For spinach
    • 2 lbs of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 1 onion – minced (~ 1/2 cup)
    • 6 garlic cloves – pressed and minced
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Ricotta:
    • 2 pounds fresh ricotta cheese
    • 2 eggs
    • 4 oz. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper – optional
  • For Assembly:
    • 16-20 no-bake lasagna noodles

Process

  1. Mise en Place – gather and prepare all your ingredients before starting
  2. If adding meat, cook the meat in advance and mix with the Alfredo sauce that should already be done.
  3. Prepare Spinach
    1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onions and sauté until golden. About a minute before you think the onions are done, add the garlic.
    2. Add the spinach and stir for a few minutes to marry all the flavors. Turn off heat and set aside.
  4. Prepare Ricotta
    1. Add half the ricotta, the eggs, parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a food processer.
    2. Process until blended and smooth. Transfer to a large bowl.
    3. Add the spinach/garlic mixture to the ricotta blend.
    4. Add the remaining ricotta cheese. Stir until blended and smooth.
  5. Assemble
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    2. Spray a high-walled 9×13 baking pan with cooking oil so cheese won’t stick.
    3. Spread a small amount of the white sauce onto the bottom of the pan and top with a layer of noodles (usually 4 per layer).
    4. Spread 1/3 of the spinach mixture on top of the noodles, followed by 1/4 of the sauce.
    5. Repeat step four 3 more times, noodles- spinach- sauce.
    6. Top with a 4th layer of noodles, the last 1/4 of sauce and the remaining cheese.
  6. Baking
    1. Prepare a foil cover by spraying it with cooking oil.
    2. Cover pan tightly with foil, and bake at 400F for 20 minutes.
    3. Reduce heat to 375F, remove the foil, and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
    4. Remove from oven and set aside for a least 15 to 30 minutes.
    5. Slice into serving size. Since you let the lasagna cool, the cheese and sauce should not run.

Note: for plating you can sprinkle fresh parsley on top. You can also splash on cayenne pepper (or paprika) for additional color.