There are some theories on the origin of lasagna, two of which denote an ancient Greek dish. The main theory is that lasagna comes from Greek laganon, a flat sheet of pasta dough cut into strips.The word lagana is still used in Greek to mean a flat thin type of unleavened bread.
The other theory is that the word lasagna comes from the Greek lasana or lasanon meaning "trivet or stand for a pot", "chamber pot". The Romans borrowed the word as "lasanum", meaning "cooking pot" in Latin. The Italians used the word to refer to the dish in which lasagna is made. Later the name of the food took on the name of the serving dish.
Today we bring you lassagne with spinach and feta, two Greek ingredients we all love
For the Bechamel:
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 cups of milk
Salt, pepper, and a dash of nutmeg
1 pound of lasagna noodles
2 packages (10 ounces each) of frozen chopped spinach, thawed, steamed, drained and squeezed dry
2 large red onions, peeled and finely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 cup of chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint
1/2 pound of feta, crumbled
1 1/4 pounds of Greek anthotiro, or ricotta
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup of grated kefalotiri, or Parmesan cheese
5-7 tablespoons of olive oil
1. Make the bechamel: Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat, and as soon as it begins to sizzle, add the flour and stir for five minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking all the while, until smooth and thick, about 5-7 minutes. Cover the bechamel with a kitchen towel and set aside until ready to use.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and cook lasagna noodles until firm, about 10 minutes. Remove, drain, and place in a large bowl of cold water until ready to use.
3. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and celery cover the skillet, and cook over low heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Combine the spinach, onions and celery, dill, feta and anthotiro in a large bowl. Mix in the eggs, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and toss with 2 to 4 more tablespoons of olive oil.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil a large shallow baking dish (approximately 10 x 14 inches). Spread 2-3 tablespoons of bechamel on the bottom. Remove the lasagna noodles from the water one at a time and blot dry with a paper towel. Arrange one-third of the noodles in a single layer over the bechamel. Spread half the filling over the lasagna. Repeat with remaining lasagna and filling, ending up with a final layer of noodles. Spread the bechamel evenly over the noodles, and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until top is golden brown. Remove, cool slightly and serve.
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