Thursday, September 9, 2010

Inside Out Lasagna

Lasagna can be such a pain the butt to make.  It's a worth while dish in the end, but when you're in a hurry, sometimes you want all the flavors without the prep.

And sometimes you want it to be healthy too.  Lasagna isn't exactly a light dinner.  As you can see, a majority of my posts are lower calories recipes - it's because I am a self proclaimed CALORIE COUNTER.  Obsessed?  Maybe.  But I have also lost 11 pounds, am thinner than I have been in 10 years and I feel FABULOUS.  So I am not in any hurry to run out and ruin that.  After all, if you're going to have a major life change, it's important to look on the bright side.  In this case, it's that I lost weight.  Silver lining.

Inside out Lasagna:

  • 8 ounces whole-wheat rotini or fusilli

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves cloves garlic, sliced

  • 8 ounces sliced white mushrooms (about 3 1/2 cups)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs

  • 8 cups baby spinach

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

  • Substitutions:  I added scallions because I am on scallions kick lately.

    Cook pasta as directed on the package.

    Heat up the oil in a pan on high heat, add the chopped onions, mushrooms, garlic and scallions.  Sauté up until the mushrooms are soft and the onions are opaque-ish in color.  Make sure you take some long, deep breaths.  Your kitchen will smell amazing.

    Why hasn't Yankee Candle come out with a sauted vegetable scented candle?  They make every other flavor.  Is that gross? Again, I am Quirky and okay with it.

    Transfer to a sauce pan and add in your tomatoes and spinach.  I also added a few dashes of dried basil and oregano.  The recipe doesn't call for it, but I add these two to all my sauces to give it a nice flavor - less tomato-y.  Add as much red pepper flakes as your little heart desires.  Mine desired a kick.

    Give it a good stir, incorporating the spinach into the tomatoes.  Keep stirring - you want the spinach to wilt down and you don't want the sauce to burn.

    Should look like this.... once the spinach had wilted down, I turned down the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

    All set!  Pour generously over the pasta and add a few dollops of ricotta cheese on the top.  Give it a solid mix up and Enjoy!  This is a solid, no bake, tastes like lasagna recipe without the layering and without the calories.

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