Sunday, February 22, 2009


I've never really thought lasagna needed a recipe. After all, it's just layers of meat and cheese and sauce and noodles, right? Well, I found a lasagna recipe makeover in a Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazine and given my current quest to try eating healthier, I thought it was worth a try. Turns out I loved it and I think it's going to be my new go-to way to make lasagna from now on! I took a picture to post with the recipe, but I am a horrendous photographer of food, so I decided against posting the picture - don't want to scare anyone away!

I ordered a free trial issue of the magazine and I'm trying to make a few of the recipes from it before I decide if I want to continue or cancel the subscription. Here's the recipe - let me know if you try it!

Lasagna Deliziosa
9 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 pkg. (20 oz.) Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (12 oz.) tomato paste
1/4 c. water
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. fennel seed (I omitted this)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 container (15 oz.) reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley (I used dried and just decreased the quantity a little)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook noodles according to package directions. When done, drain and rinse in cold water. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook the sausage, beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain the extra grease.

2. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, sugar, basil, fennel, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. In a small bowl, combine the egg, ricotta cheese, parsley, and salt. Spread 1 cup meat sauce in a 13 x 9 in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with three noodles, 2 cups meat sauce*, 2/3 c. ricotta cheese mixture, 2/3 c. mozzarella, and 1/4 c. Parmesan. Repeat layers twice.

4. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 - 15 minutes longer or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Nutrition facts**: 1 piece equals 323 calories, 12 g fat, 79 mg cholesterol, 701 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 25 g protein.

*To me, it made a lot more sense to put the ricotta on the noodles first and then add the meat sauce, so that's what I did. It's a heck of a lot easier to spread the ricotta mixture over flat noodles than it is to spread it over saucy meat!
**The magazine didn't say how many pieces they cut the pan into, so I don't know exactly what serving size those nutrition facts are for. I have a sneaking suspicion I cut my pieces a lot bigger than I'm supposed to, but then I guess it's a good thing that I used turkey sausage and lower fat cheeses!

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