This one's for my friend Becky, who refrains from giving me crap about not posting here - I have to admit it didn't seem like quite so long in my head - and who is all about spinach/polenta lasagna.
So as you'll recall, last April I met with a nutritionist who had me give up just about everything for a few weeks. No alcohol, no dairy, no wheat/gluten, no soy, no eggs, no caffeine and no sugar. It was not easy, but at the same time, I felt terrific. I eventually added the dairy back in, and eggs and sugar. The one place where I ran into trouble was reintroducing wheat, and we eventually concluded that while I'm not allergic to wheat/gluten, I do seem to have some sensitivity to it, so I started limiting my intake.
Shortly after that, everything with wheat flour in it started sending my blood sugar straight through the roof, so I'm exploring gluten free options, which is how I got to spinach polenta lasagna. I've found that recipes that naturally do not include gluten tend to be way better than "gluten-free" products intended to replicate a gluten-having food. Those tend to suck. I'm generally ok with this, although if you catch me on free pizza, cake and soda day at work, I'm a little cranky. Anyway, on to the recipe:
Spinach and Polenta Lasagna
Polenta (1 cup uncooked)
15 oz ricotta cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
10 ounces spinach (sautéed for a couple of minutes if fresh or thawed and drained if frozen)
1 25 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
6 ounces mozzarella, grated
Becky doesn't eat meat, but if you do, this bit's for you:
1 pound ground beef
½ small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
For the polenta - I used some polenta I had on hand. The directions there were to bring three cups of broth to a boil and then mix in one cup polenta, stirring the whole time until it thickened, which took a couple of minutes. I think it was some kind of quick cooking polenta. Then I spread it out on a cookie sheet in a thin layer to cool. Next time, I'll probably go with the premade polenta in a tube and just cut it into slices and press them into the pan. The important thing is to make sure the polenta is firm, not soupy, because it is the base for your lasagna and you don't want it getting mushy.
For the cheese mixture: add the two lightly beaten eggs to the ricotta cheese. Stir in the basil and oregano. Mix in the spinach.
If you're making meat sauce, brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic. Drain the fat, then stir in the tomato sauce.
If you're not making meat sauce, just heat the tomato sauce up in a sauce pan until warm.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a square 9x9 pan with olive oil.
Press a layer of polenta into the bottom of the pan, using half of the polenta. Top with half the ricotta mixture, then half the tomato sauce.
Top that with the rest of the polenta, then repeat the ricotta and tomato sauce layers. Then sprinkle the grated mozzarella on top.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. You'll probably want to put the casserole pan on a cookie sheet in the oven because it does bubble over a bit. You'll get at least six servings out of it.