It’s not often that my husband requests a meal. Typically, I ask him what he feels like eating the following week and 95% of the time the answer is “I don’t care” or “Let me think about it” and he never does. (The other 5% of the time, he asks for chicken marsala.)
So when Tom actually gave me a suggestion for once, I had to make it. Sure, he picked lasagna, one of the more fattening and annoying to assemble things on the planet. But still, it was a suggestion and we hadn’t had lasagna in a really long time. It sounded good to me, too.
To lighten the lasagna up a bit, I used 95% lean ground sirloin for the meatsauce (sort of counteracted by my use of supah-fatty sausage but that’s OK), low fat ricotta, low fat mozzarella and whole wheat lasagna noodles. We had this with some sauteed spinach (extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice).
I actually found out we were going to our friends’ for lunch, so I ended up doing everything for the meatsauce up until the simmering part and then throwing it in the crockpot on low until I was ready to assemble the lasagna later. I knew I wouldn’t want to do all that work after getting home from lunch. This is the first time I have done meatsauce in the crockpot and it turned out wonderfully.
1 lb. lasagna noodles
1 (15 oz) container Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
parsley, to taste
ground pepper, to taste
1 batch meatsauce (recipe follows)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350.
Boil lasagna noodles in salted water until al dente.
In a small mixing bowl, mix together ricotta, romano, beaten egg, black pepper and parsley.
Spray a little oil over a large baking dish. Spread a thin layer of meatsauce over the bottom and then layer the lasagna as desired, alternating noodles/ricotta/meatsauce. End with a thin layer of meatsauce.
Top with mozzarella cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10.
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground sausage or 2 Italian sausage links, casings removed
1/2 can (3 oz) tomato paste
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
oregano, to taste
basil, to taste
parsley, to taste
salt (a tsp or so, to taste) and pepper
In a large saute pan, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
Add the sausage and ground beef, crumbling and browning. Drain if there is a lot of excess fat.
Add the remaning ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Simmer covered (or uncovered, for a slightly thicker sauce) for an hour or longer, or put it in your crockpot for as long as you have.
If you make 8 slices (and they are definitely good sized), this comes out to about 500 calories and 20g fat per slice which really isn’t THAT bad for lasagna. It would be a lot less fat without the use of sausage but 1. my husband loves sausage so I had to include at least a little and 2. sausage was buy one get one free at the grocery store. Those BOGOs always get me!
Some good old fashioned lasagna!