Most people guess my favorite food is chocolate. But in truth, chocolate doesn’t even make my top five. (I know! I’m as shocked as you are.)
What is my actual favorite food? Artichoke hearts. Always have been, probably always will be.
No joke—for my first birthday my parents’ friends gave me jars of marinated artichoke hearts. I was the happiest 1-year-old on the face of the earth.
I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more artichoke hearts into my life because eating them right out of the jar gets boring. And what goes better with artichokes than spinach? Absolutely nothing.
Hence this lasagna. I’ve been making this lasagna for years and I have to say, it’s my favorite lasagna recipe ever. It’s so gooey and cheesy and, obviously, healthy because of the spinach.
Have I mentioned before that I can rationalize eating just about anything as long as it’s accompanied by green vegetables? Cheese is a health food when eaten with spinach. Truth.
This lasagna requires a few steps—what lasagna doesn’t?—but they’re all worth it. It’s packed with flavor from the pesto sauce (out of a jar—you don’t have to make it yourself) and the combination of cheeses makes it perfectly salty and savory.
Also, artichoke hearts. There are artichoke hearts in there!!! Enough said.
It’s well worth the time it takes to make. PLUS, it freezes beautifully. I sometimes make a lasagna on a weekend, let it cool, slice it up, then place the slices in individual freezer bags. It lasts for several months and is way better than store-bought frozen lasagna.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 cup store-bought pesto
- 1 large egg
- 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry*
- 1 14-ounce can artichoke bottoms, drained well and chopped
- 1/4 cup green onions (from about 5 green onions)
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 2 cups grated mozzarella (about 7 ounces)
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
- 9 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until bubbly. Whisk in milk and cook, stirring continuously, until mixture boils and thickens, about 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in pesto.
- In a medium bowl, beat egg. Stir in spinach, artichoke bottoms, green onions, ricotta, mozzarella, and 1/4 cup of Parmesan.
- Place 3 noodles in the bottom of the prepared dish. Spoon 1/3 of the filling over the noodles and spread it out evenly. Top with 1/3 of the pesto sauce. Repeat 2 more times.
- Loosely cover dish with foil and bake until just golden around edges, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, until Parmesan melts, about 5 more minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
- *Get as much water out as you can by wrapping spinach in a dish rag and wringing the spinach dry.