My mom makes the best lasagna in the world. Seriously. Everyone agrees. I know how to make it too but it’s super Labour intensive and uses about 20 pounds of cheese, so I like to call it a once a year meal.
I was craving it today, though. But also lazy. And so Spinach Lasagna Rigatoni was born, and it is truly delicious.
Spinach Lasagna Rigatoni
- Rigatoni or ziti pasta
- Ground beef
- One onion, chopped
- Lots of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tbsp fennel seed, or to taste. Not everyone loves fennel but I swear it’s super important.
- Oregano, if you want it. It hurts my tummy so I don’t tend to eat it.
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce, I used Original Ragu
- 1 can diced tomato
- 1 tbsp sugar, more if needed to tame the sourness from the tomatoes
- 2 cups frozen spinach
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup white sharp cheddar
- Fresh parsley for serving
Preheat oven to 350.
Get a pot of salted water boiling on high for your pasta. Once boiling, add your pasta and cook till al dente.
Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy pot on medium. Add ground beef and brown. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened, stirring often. Add spices.
Add the jar of spaghetti sauce, can of tomato and sugar. Taste at this point for sweetness, add more sugar if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Microwave your spinach for a few minutes to thaw it, then add it to the sauce.
Simmer on medium for about 20-30 minutes, stirring often. The longer the better. Once you’re done, pour the finished pasta into the sauce, and stir until well combined. Pour the mixture into a large rectangle baking dish.
Spoon small chunks of ricotta over the dish. I used my hands to break it up and distribute it as evenly as possible. Then top with the three cheeses. Sprinkle a little bit of basil or parsley on top.
Pop in the over for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately topped with fresh parsley.