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Papa's Pepper Spicy Spinach and Tomato Lasagna


Papa's Pepper Spicy Spinach and Tomato Lasagna

(Courtesy of Spencer from @spencerthecook from Instagram ... )

Y'all, this is a lasagna like no other I've ever made.  It's creamy, hearty, spicy, tangy and savory comfort food at it's best!  It's really a combination of flavors that work together for an amazing bite that is certain to please!  The red tomatoes and green spinach also make this dish a winner at Christmas time!

4T Butter
3T Cornstarch
4-6C Milk
3C Freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
1C Freshly grated smoked Gouda
4oz. Cream cheese, softened
1T Granulated garlic
2t Papa's Pepper premium spice blend
36oz. Frozen chopped spinach
15oz. Ricotta cheese
8oz. Freshly grated mozzarella
4T Lemon juice
15 large Roma tomatoes
1lb. Lasagna noodles, cooked according to package instructions

Preheat oven to 400°

1. Spread frozen spinach in a thin layer on a sheet pan.  Sprinkle with 2t Kosher salt.  Put in oven for 30 minutes to cook/dehydrate the spinach.  Once the spinach is cooked combine with ricotta cheese, mozzarella

2. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add cornstarch, stir and cook for 4 minutes.  Add 4 cups of milk, whisk until sauce tickets.  Add 2C parmesan, smoked Gouda and cream cheese to sauce and stir until melted and incorporated.  Add more milk as needed to maintain a thick, creamy sauce.  Add granulated garlic, Papa's Pepper and lemon juice, stir to combine.

3.  Slice Roma tomatoes into 1/2" slices and lay flat on a sheet pan.  Sprinkle a healthy amount of Parmesan cheese on each slice.  Put in a 450° oven for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.

Assembly:

Spray a 9x13 baking dish heavily with canola spray. Lay a layer of fresh thinly sliced Roma tomatoes in bottom of pan.  This will keep the noodles from sticking and also impart some tomato flavor in the noodles. Lay lasagna noodles evenly over sliced tomatoes in a single layer.  Spoon a thin layer of sauce evenly over lasagna noodles then spoon a layer of the spinach mixture evenly over the sauce.  Add another even layer of the noodles, then a thin even layer of the sauce.  Using a small spatula or turner, add tomatoes on top of the sauce in one even layer.  Layer noodles over tomatoes.  Add another layer of tomatoes and the spoon remaining sauce over the top of the tomatoes.  Into a 400° oven for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.  Enjoy!

Cooks note:

Use freshly grated cheese because it doesn't contain the "anti-clumping" ingredient that almost all pre-grated cheese contains.