Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chicken and Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

Lasagna is an Italian casserole dish made up of layers of pasta sheets, meats, cheese and tomato sauce.  However, there are many variations of lasagna.  The most traditional recipe involves ricotta and mozzarella cheese, meat sauce and pasta.  Other popular versions include spinach lasagna,  and eggplant lasagna.  You can also make vegetarian and seafood versions. 

While Americans call it lasagna, it is called lasagne in Italy.  The name lasagna originally derived from the pot that was used to cook the dish.  While lasagna is attributed to Italian cuisine, the word "lasagna" is Greek and means "cooking pot."  It is also possible the word could also be attributed to the Greek word "laganon," which means "a flat sheet of pasta cut into strips."  While we do not know how old the dish is, the recipe was found in the first cookbook written in England, so many people thought it was an English dish.

I chose to make this lasagna with a lower fat content for those of us that are looking for a healthier meal.  Be careful not to bake the lasagna uncovered for more than 10 minutes or the cheese may burn.

Chicken and Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

1 (8 ounce) package lasagna noodles
3 cups fat free half and half
2 (10.75 ounce) cans 98% fat free Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup grated fat free Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cooked boneless chicken breast halves, diced
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
3 cups reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bring a large pot ot lightly salted water to a boil.  Cook lasagna noodles for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente.  Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a suacepan over low heat, mix together half and half, cream of mushroom soup, parmesan cheese and butter.  Simmer, stirring  frequently, until well blended.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Cook and stir in the onion in olive oil until tender, then add garlic.  Mix in the chicken and spinach,  cook until heated through. Pour it all into the mushroom soup mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Lightly coat the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish with enough of the cream sauce mixture to coat.  Layer with 1/3 of the lasagna noodles, 1/2 of the ricotta, 1/3 of the cream sauce, 1/3 of the mozzarella.

Repeat layers until you have used all ingrediants, placing mozarella cheese on top, cover with foil.  Bake for 1 hour.  Remove foil and bake 10 minutes longer to brown the top.  Remove from oven and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.

Enjoy and have a blessed day.

No comments: