CR loves lasagna, a dish at which I am quite skilled, and all that pasta and fat are great for his very lean runner body. My own body would just turn into a big round ball if I ate it, so I’m always on the prowl for healthier versions I can freeze for myself.
In honor of my vegetarian day this week, here is one I made when craving that depth of tomato taste we found in Naples. Because our tomatoes were only a pale imitation of theirs (I am going to grow a million tomatoes next summer), the sauce didn’t quite match the Naples version, but it is quite fine, nonetheless. Adapted from a recipe in Shape magazine and one for tomato sauce I had stuck in a book. Highly flavorful, very healthy lasagna. The sauce takes a bit of time, but really worth it.
6 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, diced
8 garlic cloves, slice thinly or crushed
1 cup fresh basil
1 cup good red wine
salt and fresh pepper
10-12 good tasting fresh tomatoes (the blander the tomato, the blander the sauce)
Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water until the skin is loose, then cool in cold water and remove the skins. Dice and set aside.
Saute onions and garlic over low heat (the idea is to infuse the oil with flavor while releasing the flavors) lightly, then add basil and saute for five minutes, stirring gently. Add the wine and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes and salt & pepper, then let simmer until tomatoes are tender and liquid is again reduced by about half. If you let it cook for about two hours, you will lose some color, but the flavor is stunning.
12 oz crumbled goat cheese
2-3 T. skim milk
1 T each fresh thyme, fresh basil, fresh oregano, chopped
Tomato sauce, above
6 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked
1 10-oz box of kale, collards, or mustard greens (I only like collards, which I find to be much less bitter than the other two, but it’s your choice) or use 4 cups fresh collards, well scrubbed, if you can find them
4 cups fresh spinach
4 cups fresh arugula
1 cup roasted red peppers, drained and diced
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into julienne strips
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
Preheat over to 375
Mix milk and cheese, thyme, basil, and oregano. Combine red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes. On the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish, spread a layer of tomato sauce and cover with three noodles. Layer on the greens in alternating layers (and you can scatter some more fresh basil through it if you like), then scatter a layer of peppers and tomatoes, top with a layer of tomato sauce, then cheese. Repeat, ending with cheese and sprinklings of Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 40-50 minutes, and let stand for 5 minutes before cutting into eight generous slices. Freezes and reheats beautifully.
Rough nutrition estimates (I have to figure this out for various reasons, but I’m NOT a nutritionist, so don’t hold me to it): Calories 397, fat, 22 grams, fiber, 4.2, protein, 14, carbs, 19. Not bad as lasagnas go.
Happy weekend to you.