Lasagna is a time-consuming dish to make, but it's so popular and easy to serve that the effort seems more than worth it. All the parts of this dish can be made ahead, and the lasagna assembled several hours before baking.
- Portion size 8 servings
- 6 lasagna noodles
- 1 3/4 cup Bechamel Sauce Recipe
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 can tomato (undrained)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cans baby clams undrained
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
Ricotta And Spinach Filling:
- 2 cups packed fresh spinach
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 lb ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Clam Sauce: In heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion and garlic, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes, crushing with fork, and tomato paste. Drain clams, reserving 3/4 cup (175 mL) juice; add juice to saucepan and set clams aside. Stir in oregano and hot pepper flakes; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until thick enough that space remains after drawing spoon across bottom of pan; let cool.
Add clams, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. (Sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 1 month.)
Ricotta and Spinach Filling: Rinse spinach but do not dry. In saucepan over medium-high heat, cook spinach with just the water clinging to leaves for 4 minutes or until wilted. Press out as much moisture as possible; chop finely and place in bowl. Mix in eggs, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, onions, parsley and basil. (Filling can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.)
In large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles until tender, about 8 minutes. Rinse in cold water. (Cooked noodles can be placed in large bowl, covered with cold water and refrigerated for up to 1 day.)
Assembly: Spread about 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the clam sauce in 13- x 9-inch (3.5 L) baking dish.
Drain and pat noodles dry; cut in half. Working with one half at a time, spread with about 3 tbsp (50 mL) of the Ricotta and Spinach Filling, leaving 1 inch (2.5 cm) uncovered at one end. Spread about 2 tbsp (25 mL) clam sauce over filling. Starting at covered end, roll up and place, seam side down, in two rows on clam sauce in dish. Spread any remaining clam sauce around rolls.
Pour Bechamel Sauce over rolls; sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmesan and bread crumbs. (Lasagna can be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 hours.) Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 45 minutes or until sauce bubbles and top is crusty and golden. Let stand for 10 minutes.