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Lasagna Florentine is a pasta entree that's cooked in the Florentine style. There are four main ingredients, with lasagna noodles serving as the base and other optional ingredients added according to taste preference. Many of the recipes involve interchanging certain ingredients, specifically the type of sauce and cheese used, as well as whether to include seafood, beef or poultry. The recipe can be adjusted according to dietary restrictions. Despite including spinach, parents can still make this entree for children who dislike vegetables.
“Florentine” is a specific style of cooking that is reflective of the cooking from Florence, Italy. The food typically involves using spinach as one of the ingredients. A cream sauce also usually accompanies the dish.
The main ingredients in lasagna Florentine are lasagna noodles, a cream- based sauce, spinach and mozzarella cheese. Other optional ingredients include grated Parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, basil, ricotta cheese and eggs. Salt, oregano and pepper can also be added to taste.
Certain ingredients can be interchanged depending on taste preferences. Those who wish to use a cream-based sauce can choose either a Bechamel or Alfredo sauce or use cream of mushroom soup. Some may forgo the cream-based sauce in favor of tomato sauce. Although the recipe typically calls for mozzarella cheese, some may replace it with cheddar. The standard lasagna Florentine recipe doesn't call for meat, but chicken, ground beef or crab meat can be added.
Those who need to adjust the recipe to adhere to dietary guidelines can do so by replacing certain ingredients. Some may choose to replace standard ingredients with those that are vegan or kosher. For a version that is lower in fat and calories, it's best to use tomato sauce rather than cream sauce and use low-fat cheeses rather than those made from whole milk.
Lasagna Florentine is a dish that parents can make even for kids who hate vegetables. Children will likely go for the cheese, sauce and noodles, so it's best to make the spinach almost invisible. Either by hand or by using a food processor, chop up fresh spinach into fine pieces and mix it in with the ricotta before adding it onto the noodles.
As with regular lasagna, the lasagna Florentine requires layering the ingredients by starting with a layer of sauce on the bottom and alternating between adding noodles and the ricotta mix until the top layer is noodles, which is then covered with sauce. In addition to the prep time, it takes approximately 45 minutes to cook the lasagna Florentine at 350°F (about 177°C). Each recipe typically makes enough for eight to ten servings.