Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Healthy Lasagna?

I love to cook Italian food.  Lucky for me my husband equally loves to eat Italian food. Unfortunately neither of us has the naturally skinny gene and Italian food isn't usually the least fattening of things to cook.  Once again I turned to Cooking Light as a resource to get my wheels spinning.  I found a great recipe that I was able to tweak to fit to our tastes.  You can imagine my happiness to be able to create a great tasting, low fat/cal lasagna that we don't have to feel guilty about eating.  Bring on the seconds!

Vegetable Lasagna
1 teaspoon olive oil
3/4 cup chopped spinach
1 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup sliced carrot
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (or any color you have on hand)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
26 ounces of your favorite (tomato) pasta sauce
2 tablespoons commercial pesto (feel free to use your own)
1 (15 oz) container part-skim ricotta cheese
cooking spray
6 hot cooked lasagna noodles, cut in half
3/4 cup (3 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the spinach, zucchini, carrot and bell pepper.  Cook for five minutes, stirring frequently.  Add pasta sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Combine the ricotta and pesto in a small bowl.  Spread 1/2 cup of the tomato mixture in the bottom of a 8 inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Arrange 4 noodle halves over tomato mixture.  Top noodles with half of the ricotta mixture and 1 cup tomato mixture. Repeat layers, ending with noodles.  Spread remaining tomato mixture over noodles; sprinkle with mozzarella.  
Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 2o minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Note:  I placed baking dish on top of a cookie sheet to prevent spillage in the oven.

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