|(Sally PASLEY Vargas for The Boston Globe)|
Potato, ham, and spinach lasagna
Serves 4 with leftovers
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed to remove excess water
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 tablespoons flour
3 cups low-fat or whole milk, heated until hot
2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
Butter (for the baking dish)
6 large russet potatoes, peeled
1/2 pound thinly sliced baked ham, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 10 to 12 minutes or until it starts to turn golden. Add the spinach, turn up the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the water from the spinach evaporates. Remove from the heat.
2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk. Turn up the heat to medium-high and cook, whisking often and reaching all over the bottom of the pan, until the mixture comes to a boil. Lower the heat slightly and simmer, whisking occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheddar, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
3. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
4. Cut the potatoes lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange 1/3 of the potato slices, overlapping slightly, to cover the bottom of the dish. Cover evenly with 1/2 of the spinach mixture and sprinkle with 1/2 of the ham. Spoon 1/3 of the cheese sauce on top. Repeat with 1/2 of the remaining potatoes and the remaining spinach mixture and ham. Cover with 1/2 of the remaining cheese sauce. Finish with the remaining potatoes and cheese sauce. (If making ahead, cover with foil and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.)
5. Cover the baking dish with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 45 minutes or until the lasagna is bubbling and golden. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top and bake 5 to 10 minutes more or until nicely golden. (Total baking time is 1 hour and 20 to 25 minutes.) Let the lasagna sit for 10 minutes before serving. Set aside a 5-by-7-inch piece for the frittata. Lisa Zwirn