Welcome to 2016! For this year’s project, I’ll be making casseroles.

The great thing about casseroles — or hot dishes — is there’s pretty much no wrong way to make them. If it fits in a 9-inch by 13-inch dish or a 1 1/2 quart deep dish, then it’s a casserole. Heck, I learned late last year that breads baked in those dishes are sometimes called casseroles.

Since it’s so all-purpose, I’ll lay out my sort-of ground rules.

I’ll plan on sticking mostly to savory dishes that make a mess by mixing proteins, starches, veggies and often a cream-of-something soup. Probably I’ll try to make mostly classy casseroles with the occasional simple hot dish that mixes just four or five ingredients.

But who knows? In these early days of 2016, anything is possible.

For this week, I started with probably the first casserole I ever made myself. A friend made it in college and I liked it so much that I got the recipe.

It’s a vegetarian lasagna, but don’t let its lack of meat trick you -- it's amazing. In fact, it’s absolutely my favorite lasagna of all. It’s so flavorful. It’s got some of my favorite things -- artichokes, rosemary, feta. It’s mostly healthy, depending on just how much cheese you add.

Spoiler: I use way more than the 3 cups of mozzarella in the original recipe.

So, here’s to a new year.

Spinach and Artichoke Lasagna

  • 12-15 lasagna noodles (I buy no-boil so I don’t have the extra step of cooking the noodles)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 14.5-ounce can vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoons rosemary
  • 3 6-ounce jars marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3-4 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 4-ounce package garlic and herb feta
  • Olive oil or cooking spray

Oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large skillet, add oil and saute onions and garlic for about 3 minutes. Add broth and rosemary and bring to a boil. Add artichoke hearts, spinach and crushed tomatoes. Simmer mixture for about 10 minutes, until spinach has warmed throughout.

Add about a fourth of artichoke mixture to bottom of baking dish. Top with 4 to 5 lasagna noodles. Top noodles with mozzarella cheese. Repeat process two more times. Then, finish with artichoke mixture and mozzarella. Add crumbled garlic and herb feta for topping.

Cover baking dish with aluminum foil; bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes until hot and bubbly on top. Let stand 10 minutes before serving and enjoy!


Political Reporter

Political reporter at the Courier

Load comments