Spinach lasagna
=============== 2021-10-13


Inspired from fooby: Lasagnes aux épinards

Comment: Better to use creamed spinach, for a smoother lasagna. I use frozen spinach for simplicity. If creamed spinach is not available, defrost it in a colander to drain it then add ~1 dl of cream (35% or more). This is especially valid for some inexpensive spinach which contains a lot of water to bring down the cost.
For the bacon, use good smoked bacon because the spinach is not very tasty, it gives it depth. You can also substitute smoked duck fillet cut into lardons, but nothing can replace real smoked bacon. Thyme is therefore not optional.
Finally, the cheese must also be full-bodied, avoid cheeses such as mozzarella in favor of more tasty cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, or why not gorgonzola.
At the end of cooking, it is advisable to let the dish rest for ~10 minutes because in any case it is too hot to eat as it is and it allows the lasagna to have a better hold once cut.
The last problem is the size of the lasagna dish. A lasagna dish is 7 to 8 cm high, 5 cm is not enough. If like me you cook in kitchens other than yours, you have to do with the dish available. My dish is ~23 x 33 cm (9" x 13"). So if you are offered a 25 x 38 cm (10" x 15") dish, you must change the quantities (there will be some leftovers, but if it's good, it doesn't matter). In the case described here, the volume factor is 1.25 (filled to 5 cm high). It is important to modify the quantities in the same proportions, otherwise your lasagna will be thin and not very generous.
If you notice that the spinach mixture has too much liquid when assembling the lasagna, use a spider rather than a ladle ...

4 to 6 people

Ingredients:
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3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped or grated
2 shallots, chopped
1 tsp of dry thyme or 1 tbsp of fresh thyme leaves
1 kg of frozen creamed spinach
150+ g good smoked bacon

30 g butter
30 g of flour
8 dl milk
nutmeg
S + P

200 g of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus ~ 30 g for gratinating
or
150 g gorgonzola plus ~ 30 g grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for gratinating

1 packet of lasagna pasta sheets

EVOO
S + P

Preparation:
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Thaw spinach normally 1 day or a few hours in advance.

In a saucepan large enough to contain the spinach, sweat the shallot in a little EVOO and a pinch of salt, then the bacon, then the garlic (be careful not to burn it) and the thyme.
Add the spinach, S + P, mix well, cook ~5 minutes, set aside.

In another saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour, cook for 1 or 2 minutes.
Off the heat, add the milk, stir well with a whisk, return to the heat, grate the nutmeg, S + P.
When smooth, remove from heat and add cheese, mix, set aside.

In a well-buttered baking dish, place successive layers of lasagna, spinach and béchamel, starting with a layer of béchamel. Then a layer of lasagna, then a layer of spinach, a little béchamel, a layer of lasagna, etc. to finish with a layer of lasagna and béchamel. Sprinkle with the rest of the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Do not exceed ~5 cm high.

Preheat oven to 180C (hot air) or 200C normal oven, and cook the lasagna ~30 minutes covered with aluminum foil.
Remove the lid and brown (possibly in the grill position) for another ~10 minutes before removing from the oven. Let stand for ~10 minutes before serving.