Lasagna with Meat Sauce

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This lasagna has seriously taken over as a staple in my house. We don’t do pastas too often because we try to stay away from starchy carbs (and because we are too lazy to workout) but I decided to give this a try and substituted gluten-free lasagna rice noodles instead of regular lasagna noodles (not that it made a huge carbohydrate difference but my conscience felt better anyway). Couldn’t even taste the difference! AND…you don’t have to pre-cook rice noodles!!!! Yep, that’s a choir you hear singing Hallelujah in the background.

Lasagna with Meat Sauce
1 1/2 cups fat free ricotta cheese
6 ozs part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
12 ozs extra lean ground beef
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 (25 oz) jar low sodium marinara sauce
cooking spray
9 lasagna rice noodles (or regular lasagna noodles, prepared to package directions)
1 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Combine ricotta, 2 ozs (about 1/2 cup) mozzarella, 2 Tbsp parsley, butter, oregano, 1 garlic clove, and egg; set aside.
3. Place ground beef in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat; sprinkle with peppers and remaining 4 garlic cloves. Cook for 9 minutes or until beef is browned, stirring to crumble; drain. Return beef mixture to pan; stir in marinara sauce, and remove from heat.
4. Use a broiler-safe 11×7 inch glass or ceramic baking dish. When arranging a layer of noodles in the lasagna, use 3-4 noodles, enough to cover the full span of the pan but not overlapping too much. Layer your lasagna in the following order:
1/2 cup meat sauce spread in bottom of pan
1 layer of noodles
1 cup meat sauce spread over noodles
1 layer of noodles
All of ricotta mixture
1 cup meat sauce
1 layer of noodles
remaining meat sauce spread over noodles
remaining mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Cover with foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until bubbly.
5. Preheat broiler to high (keep lasagna in oven)
6. Broil lasagna for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and sauce is bubbly. Remove from oven, let stand for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons parsley. Cut into 6 pieces and serve.

*Original recipe from Cooking Light

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