“That doesn’t sound like lasagna,” he said to me. And he was right. He was also right to ask “what kind of lasagna” when I told him that’s what I was having for dinner. In my kitchen, that’s a fair question. But yes, he was right; spinach and artichokes go with pita chips, not pasta noodles. Lasagne is red and white, not green.
I’ve made lasagna before, and it was delicious. But my crazy brain is so committed to this blog, even when I do go months without actually adding a recipe (that’s so 2012), that I feel almost guilty when I repeat a recipe. This requires commitment, yes, but also creativity, and nothing acts as a blank canvas better than pasta. Creativity, guilt, and research is how my lonely jar of marinated artichoke hearts found a home, and how I found a new weeknight favorite.
Like he said, it doesn’t sound like lasagna, and aside from the layers, it doesn’t really look like the classic Italian American dish. However, the flavors here are amazing and while it isn’t at all traditional, it deserves it’s moment in the sun.
The thing it does have in common with traditional lasagna is that it makes plenty. This would be a great dish for a dinner party, to freeze and take to a friend, or to feed a crowd. For those of you living only with a cat that is currently paralyzing your left arm, completely oblivious to the fact that you are trying to write, it also makes great leftovers.
This opens up a whole new world of lasagna ideas, which I am eager to dream up. I’m thinking a mushroom béchamel sauce with truffle oil breadcrumbs. Oh, or vegetables with pesto and pistachios! The possibilities are endless, kick tradition to the curb! (Then welcome it back, because traditional lasagna is incredible).
Here’s the recipe!
Spinach and Artichoke Lasagne with Chicken (Adapted from Everyday Food, Dec 2012)
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken, cooked and shredded (or about 3 cups shredded meat from a rotisserie or leftover roast chicken)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped marinated artichoke hearts, divided
- 3 handfuls of fresh spinach
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- no boil lasagna noodles
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add celery and onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for one minute more, then slowly stir in broth and increase heat. Bring sauce to a boil, stirring to reduce clumps, until thick. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add 1 cup of the artichokes and the spinach. Stir and add in shredded chicken.
- Spread 1/2 cup chicken mixture on the bottom of a baking dish. Layer lasagna noodles on top, then repeat with chicken mixture, then noodles, and so on, ending with chicken mixture. Top with remaining artichokes, shredded cheese, and seasoned breadcrumbs. Spray top with cooking spray.
- Bake until top is deep golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes so the lasagna can set, then serve.