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The original plan for tonight was to make an asparagus lasagna. But since I forgot to buy asparagus, I needed to change plans. Spinach was buy one get one free this week, so spinach lasagna it was. The piquillo peppers add some additional flavor to the sauce. And the use of fresh mozzarella and Parmesan cheese add more flavor to the lasagna.
The first step is to prepare the sauce. In a stockpot, add a tablespoon of olive oil and warm over medium heat. Add the onions and salt, and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Turn the heat down and add the sugar. Cook for another 3 minutes. Add the crushed and roma tomatoes, piquillo peppers, throw in the Parmesan rind and the bay leaf. Bring to a low boil and cook for 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
The second step is to prepare the ricotta mixture. In a skillet, saute the baby spinach with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt until wilted. Allow to cool and chop the spinach. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, basil, salt, pepper, Mediterranean seasoning and spinach.
Bring a pot of water to boil, add salt. Boil the lasagna noodles for 3 minutes. Now you are ready to put the lasagna together. In the bottom of the lasagna pan, add some sauce. Layer 5 lasagna noodles. Cover the noodles with 1/2 of the ricotta mixture. Add some sauce, and then top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Add a second layer of noodles. Repeat the layers of ricotta, sauce and then top the lasagna with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil.
Bake for 1 hour in a 350 degree oven. Remove the aluminum foil and place under the broiler for about 5-10 minutes, until slightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.