Happy New Year everyone!!
So while we’re all trying to be good in 2013, sipping wheat grass shots, showing up on time to Yoga, and wrestling with separation anxiety over our secret chocolate drawers (doesn’t everyone have one of those??), I thought I would taunt you with a little bit of lasagna… :)
Because nothing says New Years resolution like fluffy ricotta cheese, rich tomato sauce, and a big. fat. bowl of carbs…
or does it??
This healthy take on lasagna is lower cal, full of fiber, and bursting with flavor.The perfect way to start on a realistic path to a healthy 2013! The trick to successful resolutions is setting manageable goals – forget the juice detoxes and 3 hour workouts. Do what makes you feel good inside and out….. like lasagna! With a healthy twist.
This was my recipe featured in the January Issue of my very first magazine appearance! The goal was to take a comfort food and make it over into a healthier dish to keep us on track in the New Year.
Here’s a fabulous trick from this recipe - bake your ricotta separately in the oven. This way you can crumble up a healthy portion of the cheese instead of the gigantic portion found in most lasagna dishes.
Throw in some whole wheat pasta, spicy cracked red pepper to get the metabolism going, and fresh basil, and you’ve got a super easy (super quick!) healthy dinner.
Yields 6 servings
For the Spicy Tomato Basil Sauce
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ cup coarsely chopped basil
For the Baked Ricotta
- 1 cup reduced fat ricotta
- 1 large egg
- salt and pepper to taste
12 oz. whole wheat penne (or gluten free)
¼ cup grated fresh parmesan for topping
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and coat a 15-ounce baking dish with cooking spray.
- Bring a large 4-quart pot of water to boil for pasta. Season with salt. While waiting to boil, make the ricotta mixture and sauce.
- In a small bowl mix ricotta, egg, salt, and pepper. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes or until puffed up and slightly brown. Let cool 5 minutes, then using a spatula or spoon, gently crumble the ricotta.
- Make the sauce – In a medium saucepan, combine olive oil, crushed tomatoes and their juices, garlic, salt, and red pepper. Turn on heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Remove from heat and stir in basil.
- Once your pasta water is boiling, add the whole wheat penne and cook according to package directions. Drain the pasta and return to pot.
- Mix finished tomato sauce with the pasta and top with crumbled ricotta. Top with grated parmesan.