A couple weeks ago, I decided to get creative with my love for pesto. And I hadn’t made a good lasagna dish in a while. I found a recipe for pesto lasagna in Women’s Health and I decided to give it a whirl, using Aussie, Kate and Trev as my guinea pigs.

It was DELICIOUS. I made the original vegetarian version (much to Aussie’s chagrin) but I believe ground turkey, some chicken or even pork may be great additions. I wouldn’t use any red meats, as the recipe is light in both color and flavor and anything too dark wouldn’t compliment it.

How to:
Heat oven to 350 F (180 C)

2 1/4 cups dry, tightly packed basil leaves
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cups pine nuts, lightly toasted (I always forget to toast them and it’s fine.)
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese
3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 package lasagna noodles
2 cups cooked, chopped spinach
8 oz part-skim mozzarella, thinly sliced

In a food processor or blender, make pesto:
Puree basil, garlic.
Add some olive oil, slowly while pureeing.
Add some of the grated cheese (set aside a small amount), pine nuts. Pulse.
Add in rest of olive oil while pulsing. Mix until ingredients form a rough paste.

In a bowl, whisk together pesto, ricotta and nutmeg.

Cook lasagna noodles until al dente.

In the bottom of a 9″x13″ baking pan coated with cooking spray, spread 1/3 of ricotta mix — enough to cover the bottom.
Arrange 4 noodles, lengthwise over mixture.
Top with another 1/3 of ricotta mix, 1/3 spinach, layer of mozzarella slices and a dusting of Parmesan.
Repeat starting with noodles — there should be a total of 3 layers, reserving some of the Parmesan and ricotta for the top.

Cover in aluminum foil, bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

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