This past weekend I joined 20,000 other wack jobs in a completely outrageous event- a half marathon. Now, you might ask, “Elise, what on earth would possess you to run 13.1 miles?” Well, I might say answer that it’s great exercise, or that the free swag at the expo makes it worthwhile; I might say that it is something that I’ve always wanted to accomplish, or argue that the adrenaline rush you feel upon completion is like nothing else. Depending on my mood, I could say any one or a combination of those things, but… let’s be honest, I do it for the pre-race carbo load.
I LOVE carbs- bread, pasta, potatoes… why on earth are the SO good? I try very hard to stay away from them, or at least limit them, or stick to whole wheat, but I like the good stuff: white bread, french rolls, yukon gold potatoes, spaghetti, gnocchi… ugh, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it… So when I signed up for this last half marathon I decided that I would incentivize myself with the promise of one of my Grandma’s recipes. It’s a great twist on your classic lasagna, and it even has spinach in it, so that makes it healthier right? Also, the recipe doesn’t include the traditional ingredient of ricotta cheese- instead it has sour cream in it. It’s killer. I made it for friends that were running the race with me, and they all agreed.
Grandma’s Spinach Lasagna
1 Lb. Ground Beef
1 Lb. Ground Sausage
1 Large Yellow Onion
4 Garlic Cloves
15 Oz. Tomato Sauce
6 Oz. Tomato Paste
1 Bag Fresh Spinach (12 Oz.)
2 C. Sour Cream
2 C. Parmesan Cheese, Grated
1 Package Bow-Tie Noodles
1 C. Red Wine
1/2 C. Water
1/2 t. Rosemary
1/2 t. Basil
1/4 t. Majoram
1/4 t. Oregano
1/4 t. Black Pepper
1 1/2 t. Salt
Now what is that? A recipe card? You mean this recipe wasn’t printed off of the internet or viewed directly from my iPhone? Nope, we’re doing it old school tonight…
Beef and pork. I’m such a carnivore. I do NOT understand vegetarians. The thought of life without meat makes me want to cry. Throw your meat into a pan and get it ready to be browned.
Chop up the onions and your garlic. This MIGHT be a bit more garlic than my Grandma’s original recipe called for… but you can just never have enough garlic.
I hate chopping onions… I cry, my makeup smears, I’m miserable- until these. Laugh all you want, but I just KNOW you want to order these for $19.95 on Amazon. You’re welcome.
Brown the meat with the onions and garlic, then drain off the excess fat.
Then add your tomato sauce and paste, as well as all of the spices.
Then you add the water and the wine. Which means you’ll have an open bottle of wine, which in turn means you must drink the rest. Don’t be wasteful, there a thirsty alcoholics everywhere.
Doesn’t it look good? Let it simmer, and drink your wine, while we move to the next step.
Boil your bow-tie noodles while the sauce simmers.
Once the noodles are cooked, drain and add them to your sauce. It probably would have helped it I used a bigger pan… whatever, I made a mess- surprise, surprise.
Don’t get too excited, you’re not done yet…
You’re going to need a large 9×13 casserole dish and the rest of your ingredients- the spinach, sour cream and parmesan.
Put 1/2 of the pasta mixture in the bottom of your casserole dish.
Then 1/2 of your spinach on top of the pasta.
Then layer 1/2 of your sour cream on top of the spinach. I found flinging blobs of sour cream on the spinach and trying to spread it with a spoon was the best method.
Finally 1/2 of the parmesan. Can you guess why you’ve only used 1/2 of all of your ingredients? Yup, do all the layers again- the rest of your pasta, then the rest of the spinach, the last cup of sour cream and the rest of the parmesan.
For the last 1/2 cup of parmesan, I like to use the pretty shaved parmesan, purely for aesthetics :) At this point you can throw some saran on this baby and put in the fridge, so you can easily make it the morning before you’re going to serve it, or even the day prior. When you’re ready to eat, bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until warm throughout and the cheese is just toasty on top.
Eat it up, every single, delicious, amazing carb.