Spanakopita Lasagna. A fusion of Greek and Italian cuisines in a rich, incredibly flavourful lasagna, piled with layers of goat cheese, feta and spinach filling.
I got this idea from a Spanakopita appetizer that I recently served at a dinner party with friends, where the delicious goat cheese and feta filling was baked inside crispy, golden phyllo pastry and had the rustic tomato sauce served on the side. I decided to try it as a pasta dish and that too was a very successful experiment.
I see this as a very versatile recipe that, because of it’s richness, should be served in smaller portions than a standard lasagna. Last night we served it with a simple salad and lemon-herb grilled chicken breasts for a very satisfying dinner.
Served only with a side salad, it would make a terrific lunch or all on its own as a first course at your next dinner party.
This is also a recipe that I will be incorporating into dinner party menus where we have a mix of vegetarians and non-vegetarians because it would be so simple to serve the grilled chicken with it or not. I don’t like dinners where veggie guests get served a completely different meal.
One presentation tip for this recipe as with any lasagna, is to line the lasagna pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and lightly brush the foil with olive oil before putting the lasagna together.
Let your lasagna rest for about 20 minutes or more after it comes out of the oven then simply use the ends of the parchment paper to lift the lasagna out of the pan onto a cutting board. There it can be very easily and cleanly cut with a sharp serrated knife into perfectly presentable portions.
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Spanakopita Lasagna - a fusion of Greek and Italian cuisines in an incredibly flavourful lasagna, piled with layers of goat cheese, feta & spinach filling. About 9 servings as a main course to 12 as an appetizer course.
- 1 pound uncooked fresh lasagna sheets approximately
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 16 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 16 ounces goat cheese
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 4 beaten eggs
- 12 ounces grated mozzarella or provolone cheese
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 8 large ripe tomatoes diced
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp crushed chili paste
- salt and pepper to season
Line a 9 x 9 inch glass pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, lightly brush the foil with olive oil.
For the filling, blanch the spinach in hot water for only a minute to wilt it. Drain immediately and place the wilted spinach in the middle of a clean tea towel.
Roll up the towel and wring it out gently to remove the excess water from the spinach.
Place the spinach in a large bowl and add the feta, goat cheese, garlic, oregano, pepper and eggs.
Toss together until completely blended together.
Cover the bottom of the prepared lasagna pan with 1 layer of lasagna pasta sheets.
Add 1/3 of the spinach and cheese mix, top with more lasagna pasta sheets and repeat the process, ending with a final layer of pasta.
Top with the chunky tomato sauce.
Finally sprinkle on the mozzarella or provolone cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes.
Let the lasagna rest for 20 minutes before serving. Can be served with additional tomato sauce on the side.
Saute the garlic in the oil over medium heat for just a minute before adding the tomatoes, brown sugar, chili sauce, salt, pepper.
Continue to cook until the tomatoes soften and the compote reduces to a jam-like consistency.
Add the balsamic vinegar in the final minute or two of cooking before serving.
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