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Papa Roberto's Spinach Lasagna

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“This is a combination of several recipes I've experimented with from different sources. I think I've finally perfected it. I think the fennel seed is critical, giving the sauce a unique flavor. Slowly cooking the sauce is key in my book. Take your time, and you won't regret it. I like my lasagna rich and a little more dense than typical so I skip any sort of egg mixture and I go light on the ricotta. I think spinach is a must for lasagna, and makes you feel less bad about eating it. There is really no need for a side dish here. Everything you need in life is in the lasagna!”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Directions:.
  2. Prepare the lasagna noodles according to package directions.
  3. Drain and set aside.
  4. Meat Sauce:.
  5. Use a Dutch oven or large heavy pot suitable for slow cooking.
  6. Brown the ground beef and sausage.
  7. Drain off the grease.
  8. Add the onion and garlic to the meat/sausage mixture.
  9. Sauté until onion is tender.
  10. Grind the fennel seed with mortar and pestle.
  11. Add the sugar, salt, basil, fennel seed, pepper, chili flakes, tomatoes and tomato paste.
  12. Stir well and simmer covered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  13. Add port or other red wine and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
  14. Spinach Filling:.
  15. Steam spinach until very tender.
  16. Drain spinach and chop up very fine.
  17. Mix with mozzarella, parmesan and ricotta until well blended.
  18. Put Lasagna Together and Bake:.
  19. In the bottom of a very large baking pan, spread just enough of the meat mixture to cover the bottom.
  20. Layer as follows.
  21. Lasagna noodles, Spinach Filling, Meat Sauce, Light extra cheese layer.
  22. Repeat until pan is full.
  23. Make sure lasagna noodles overlap slightly and make sure you finish with mozzarella and a sprinkle of parmesan on top.
  24. Cover with foil.
  25. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
  26. Remove the foil and bake for 25 additional minutes.

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