I wanted to call it lasagna verde but, apparently, it isn’t because lasagna verde uses spinach lasagna noodles. This one has regular lasagna noodles but the dish turns green after baking because the sauce has a lot of finely chopped spinach in it.
Lasagna usually takes at least an hour and half to prepare. The meat sauce needs to simmer properly to thicken and acquire the right consistency, and to allow all the flavors to become concentrated. The baking also takes time — the larger the baking dish you use, the longer the sauce needs to bubble in the oven. This lasagna dish can be ready in 45 minutes including preparation time. The sauce takes only about 10 minutes to cook. And, if you use single serve ramekins, the baking time is reduced considerably.
I added bacon to the sauce because we like meat and because bacon adds a lot of flavor to any dish. If you’re one of the few people I know who don’t like bacon, you can omit it — the lasagna will still be delicious.
Lasagna with creamy spinach sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Cook the lasagna noodles in boiling salted water. Drain.
- While the lasagna cooks, boil about four cups of water in a pot. Add the spinach to the boiling water, pressing it down lightly. Cook for about two minutes or just until wilted. Drain, dump in a bowl of iced water, drain again then squeeze out as much water as you can. Chop finely, by hand or using a food processor.
- Melt the butter in a pan. Add the bacon and cook until lightly browned. Add the chopped onion and continue cooking until the onion bits soften and turn translucent.
- Add the spinach to the pan. Pour in the milk and cream. Bring to a simmer. Stir in about half of the parmesan cheese.
- Add the cream cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, just until the cream cheese melts and gets incorporated in the sauce. Taste and add salt if needed.
- Assemble the lasagna. Cut each noodle into four equal pieces.
- Lightly butter the bottom of the ramekins. Place a piece of noodle at the bottom of each.
- Cover the noodle with about two tablespoonfuls of the sauce. Sprinkle with some parmesan.
- Repeat until all four pieces of the noodle are in the ramekin.
- Add extra parmesan.
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes at 350F, or until the sauce is bubbly and the top is lightly browned.
- Rest the lasagna with creamy spinach sauce for about ten minutes. Serve with buttered toast on the side.