Updated (Original post 11/22/2015)
Okay, so after recently talking about old recipes and updates I realized a few of the most delicious recipes on the site have the ugliest photos. True. And what do people do when they see ugly photos? Keep scrolling as fast as we can until we see something worth eating.
Well, this lasagna is my most favourite all time lasagna recipe. Well, next to my sister's. Nobody can make lasagna like hers. This is worth diving into any time of year!
So why are we so fixated on the beauty of a photo? I know I am 100% visual when it comes to food. I see something that looks good, I want to eat it NOW. If it looks say, blah, I just keep on trucking as they say.
Does anybody remember cookbooks from the 80s and even, dare I say the 70s? Most of the recipes didn't even have photos and you had to use your imagination of what it was going to turn out like. The beauty of that is you had no idea what you were aiming for so disappointment was far less. You read the title and if it sounded good you went from there. Even to the point where you might have read the ingredient list. Imagine reading all the way to the ingredients? Yes, people used to do that before they decided a recipe was worth the effort. Now we just swipe through a gazillion images until we see one that speaks to us. I am guilty of scrolling Instagram images and doing just that. Doing a double tap once in a while to show interest. But actually following the link to the page and then read the recipe, ummmm.
Where exactly does this leave us in 2017? Are we making better food or are we just able to make it look better? I am going to verge against the grain that is everything in our visual obsessed era and say the latter. I know that when I make something that looks shockingly terrible, I can do a little camera magic and make it look good. Dress it up with good lighting and a few accessories and all of a sudden it has hit stardom. Or a least worthy of a double tap.
I promise you, this lasagna is worth the effort. All one and half hours of it! Yea, it's not a quick midweek dinner. I have made this more times that I can count and every single time it is a huge success. I have served it to countless friends over the years and it's usually a hit with kids as well as adults.
Today the photos turned out better than they did two years ago, but the taste is exactly the same!
Chicken & Spinach Lasagna
Serves 8 - 10 / Prep time: 40 minutes / Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes
20 lasagne sheets
2 cans of whole tomatoes, 32 oz/800 grams
1 large red pepper, roughly chopped
1 large green pepper, roughly chopped
1 large onion – roughly chopped
6 to 8 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 bag of fresh spinach, 8 oz/200 grams
2 chicken breast, cut into small pieces or into ground chicken
2 Cups/200 grams of fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 Cup/240 ml sour cream
2 Cups/220 grams of grated mozzarella
Fresh basil, rosemary & parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Cups/220 grams of grated mozzarella
In a large frying pan, add olive oil and about half of the crushed garlic. Cook for a minute before adding the peppers and onions. Cook on high heat for a few minutes until they start to brown. Then reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook for about 10 more minutes. While the onions and peppers are cooking, add in a little of the tomato juice from the can. This will ensure they soften while they cook and not burn. Add tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the liquid in the tomatoes reduces by half. This will take around 10-12 minutes. Stir as it cooks. At this point taste your sauce and see if it is bitter at all. If so, add about a teaspoon of sugar. Stir well and leave to simmer for a few more minutes. Once you have finished this, add the mixture to the blender and blend in batches until you have a smooth sauce. Flavours can be adjusted once you have made your sauce with additional herbs, salt, pepper, sugar....
Heat the reserved skillet and add a little olive oil and garlic. Add mushrooms and cook until browned. Then add in chicken and brown. Remove from heat. Add prepared sauce to the chicken and mushroom mixture.
Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 minutes. Remove and instantly rinse with cold water. Let drain.
To assemble the lasagne you need a large lasagne pan. Put a tiny amount of sauce on the bottom layer. This is just so the pasta does not stick. Then you can start layering. First a layer of lasagne sheets, followed by a few ladles of sauce, few spoonfuls of sour cream, spinach and finally cheese. Keep repeating the process until all layers are done. I usually get around 4 layers.
Bake in a preheated oven of 350 degrees for around 40 minutes. Remove from over and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. This allows time for the lasagne to set so when cut it stays together.
Can be served with any fresh salad and garlic bread. Makes for great, fuss free entertaining as it can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 24 hours before baking.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Julia and I have a passion for wholesome fresh food. Here you can find what's cooking in my Spanish kitchen, with inspiration from my Newfoundland roots!
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