If you are craving a full flavour Italian dinner, try layering this casserole. It's chocked full of yummy surprise taste sensations.
I am watching my COVID calories, but you don't have to...this cheesy recipe can swing both ways.
I have a number of packages of mushrooms to put to good culinary use. This is yet another recipe conjured up to use up those earthy morsels.
With less than 500 calories per serving, this vegetarian dish can be low fat, low sodium, no sugar and gluten free! I used GoGo gluten free pasta. Purchase or use the ingredients that work with your dietary needs, full fat or light, high fibre or white work equally well here!
I portion, freeze, and thaw when the Italian vegetarian hankering hits!
Balsamic Mushroom and Spinach Ricotta Casserole
4 to 6 servings
2 cups pasta, cook according to the package directions (gluten free or any other works)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
475 grams ricotta
1 lemon rind and juice of half the lemon
142 gram package spinach
227 gram package mushrooms
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 cup or more your fave tomato sauce, divided
Italian cheese blend, shredded
Preheat oven to 420 degrees F
cook pasta according to the package directions, set aside
Heat the olive oil in a medium or large skillet and fry the onions, then add the mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes, then add the balsamic vinegar. Mix until just cooked.
Remove the onions and mushroom mixture and set aside on a plate.
To the hot skillet add all the spinach and sweat until just soft.
In a large bowl mix the ricotta, garlic, parmesan, and lemon rind and juice (about 2 tablespoons) until smooth.
In a 9 x 9 inch baking dish, spread 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce
Next spread 1 cup of the pasta on the sauce
For a third layer, spread the ricotta mixture
For the fourth layer, spread the spinach
For the fifth layer spread the balsamic mushroom mixture
For the sixth layer spread the last 1 cup of tomato sauce
Finish with spreading the last cup of pasta
Sprinkle with the Italian shredded cheese mix, you can add more if not watching your fats and calories
Cover with tinfoil or parchment and bake in the 420 degree F for about 25 minutes
Remove foil or parchment
Bake until golden and bubbling around 20 minutes more.
Serving suggestion: Serve with a nice green salad or green vegetables like brussels sprouts and asparagus.