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Spinach Lasagna

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Spinach Lasagna
(c) Bob Sollima

This dutch oven spinach lasagna recipe is written by the Mad Chef of the Forest. It can be baked in any size dutch oven, or better yet, use a larger size oven and utilize a deep pan set on top of three or four small rocks inside the oven. This spinach lasagna is a great side dish to compliment most grilled meats, especially tri-tip or Italian pork sausage.

To make a extra-large lasagna you can build it directly inside the dutch oven itself, but it is easier to keep the oven clean by baking tomato-sauce dishes in a separate pan that is elevated inside the oven. If you make your lasagna directly in the oven it is imperative to re-season the cast iron immediately. The acid in tomato sauces tends to strip the seasoning from cast iron making it imperative to re-season the cast iron immediately.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • lasagna noodles
  • seasoned tomato sauce (for camping it may be easier to use a marinara-type sauce from a jar)
  • thinly sliced garlic
  • thinly sliced mushrooms
  • grated mozzarella cheese
  • raw spinach
  • sliced black olives
  • thinly sliced tomatoes
  • fresh basil (de-stemmed and sliced into 1/4 inch strips)
  • ricotta cheese
  • eggs (2 eggs per lb. of ricotta)
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • black pepper

Preparation:

Mix up ricotta with eggs, grated parmesan cheese, fresh parsley and black pepper into a thick sticky paste.

Layer the following ingredients (it's important to follow directions specifically):

  1. Pour in some olive oil to coat bottom of the pan or oven.
  2. Put down a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles. If you are using a round pan or oven, you can break off corners of the noodles to make them fit. Save the triangle corners to fill in holes later.
  3. Mix the mushrooms and garlic into the sauce and spread the sauce generously over the noodles.
  4. Add a layer of the mozzarella
  5. Top completely with spinach.
  6. Glob on the ricotta mix and mash the spinach down with it using a large serving spoon or rubber spatula.
  7. Spot the ricotta mix with sliced black olives -- approximately 25 slices of olives per layer.
  8. Cover with the thinly sliced tomatoes.
  9. Layer with fresh basil leaf strips -- approximately 1/2 inch apart.

  • Repeat the layers one more time.
  • At the top make sure you finish the lasagna off with a third layer of noodles and top with more sauce and then grated mozzarella cheese.
  • Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of water or wine (better) over the top of everything.
  • Don't add liquid if using canned spinach (yuck, not recommended).
  • make sure the lid of the oven does not touch the top of the lasagna/cheese.
  • Bake with bottom and top coals until everything is bubbly and the noodles are soft.
  • After removing the lasagna from heat, let it sit for a little while and cool removing it before serving.

About the Chef: Bob Sollima, "The Mad Chef of the Forrest" has been dutch oven baking for almost 40 years, 26 years of which he spent living in the backcountry. Sollima has camped extensively the past two summers and has cooked dutch oven goodies for various celebrities in the backcountry.

"You really have to camp for a spell to appreciate the wonders of the dutch oven. Anything you can bake in your conventional oven at home, you can bake in a dutch oven, and most of the time it tastes better in the dutch oven. Maybe it's the great outdoors or more likely, the sealed-in blended flavors one gets from the dutch oven by the campfire." ~ The Mad Chef of the Forest

More Dutch Oven Recipes from the Mad Chef of the Forest:

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