Saturday, June 4, 2011

Spicy Kale Lasagna

With our trip to Montreal for the weekend, we needed someone to care for B. We are so blessed to have generous helpers in my aunt and uncle and my SIL. My SIL stayed over at our place for the second half of dog sitting duty. To ensure that she would have something for dinner I made spicy kale lasagna the night before we left. We had two bunches of kale from our CSA that week, which provided the perfect amount for the recipe. To cut down on calories and carbs, I always make lasagna with three layers of noodles when most recipes call for four. We don't notice any compromise to the end result, so it's a win-win.

A squeezed the living daylight out of the kale, and I drained the cottage cheese, but the end result was still quite watery. On it's own, the sauce reminded me of a rich minestrone soup. When a recipe calls for canned tomatoes, I always keep canned whole tomatoes on hand. I find that those tomatoes are better quality, and it allows me to add spices and herbs on my own. Here, I used fresh basil from my planter on the balcony. We loved this vegetarian lasagna - melty cheese, healthy kale, and bold marinara flavor.

 
Spicy Kale Lasagna
Adapted from A Couple Cooks via Annie Eats
Yield: about 6 servings

Ingredients:

1¼ lbs. kale (or spinach), stems removed
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes, diced
1/4 c fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
16 oz cottage cheese, drained
¾ cup grated Pecorino cheese, divided
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
¾ tsp. pepper
9 no-boil lasagna noodles (or noodles cooked according to package directions)
 Directions:
1.   To prepare the kale, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the kale to the pot and boil for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool enough to handle. Spin the kale in a salad spinner, and wrap the kale inside paper towels to wring out as much excess liquid as possible.  Chop roughly, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
2.   To make the tomato sauce, combine the oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in a cold saucepan.   Heat over medium-high, stirring frequently.  Once bubbling, cook for about 30 seconds.  Mix in the diced tomatoes, reduce heat and let simmer 5-10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the fresh basil.
3.   To make the cheese mixture, mix drained cottage cheese, ½ cup of the Pecorino 1½ cups of the mozzarella, 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper.
4.   Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  To assemble the lasagna, add a thin layer of the sauce to the bottom of a 8 x 8-inch baking dish.  Cover with a layer of noodles, then half of the cheese mixture, half of the kale, and half of the remaining sauce.  Add another layer of noodles, the remaining cheese mixture, and the remaining kale.  Repeat and top with the remaining sauce.  Cover with foil sprayed with oil and bake for 45 min, until bubbly. Remove foil, and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup Pecorino. Return to oven, uncovered and bake until cheese has melted, about 5-10 minutes.
5.   Let stand at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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