A homemade lasagna is a labor of love. The good news is that I’m getting faster at making it. This is my (relatively) lower fat and lower carb vegetable lasagna made with part skim ricotta, reduced-fat shredded Italian cheese, and Dreamfields lasagna noodles. It’s just as cheesy and delicious as any “naughty” lasagna and packed with zucchini, spinach, and fresh tomatoes.
You’ll need a big rectangular pan for this. I use a 9×13 Pyrex that came with a clip-on storage lid for the top. Three Dreamfields lasagna noodles fit perfectly side by side in there. I sprayed the pan with olive oil before assembling the lasagna.
Makes about six servings.
Olive oil spray for the lasagna pan
1 box of Dreamfields lasagna noodles
24 oz jar of spaghetti sauce (We openly profess our love for Gia Russa’s Tomato & Basil.)
15 oz container of part skim ricotta cheese (Sorrento brand was the lowest fat option at my grocery store.)
Reduced fat shredded parmesan (…if you can find it.)
Reduced fat shredded Italian cheese
3 zucchini, sliced
4 oz of fresh spinach
1-2 vine ripened tomatoes, chopped
Any other vegetables you want to add – we’re striving for roughly 4 cups of vegetables total
1. Start boiling the water to prepare the Dreamfields lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Unlike some varieties, you do have to boil these noodles before assembling the lasagna.
2. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, chop up the zucchini and tomato and any other veggies you’d like to add. Also, snap the stems of the spinach leaves if that sort of thing offends you. In a big pan, saute the minced garlic and zucchini in olive oil. Add in the spinach just until it’s somewhat wilted. Don’t cook the vegetables very long. You might be able to skip this step but I think it cuts down on the amount of water the vegetables produce inside the lasagna.
3. The water should be boiling by now. Go ahead and make the noodles. While you’re waiting for them to cook, pour the entire tub of ricotta cheese into a medium-sized bowl and mix in 3-4 ounces of the parmesan cheese and the dried spices. I don’t measure the amount of basil, oregano, parsley, and garlic powder I add to the ricotta mixture and I apologize for that. I do know that the amount I use is in the order they’re listed – I go pretty nuts with the basil and easy on the garlic powder. You want the mixture to smell flavorful and to be able to see spices throughout.
4. Once the noodles are ready, drain them. It’s time to preheat the oven to 400 degrees and assemble the lasagna. Start with a layer of noodles side by side (three should do it). Follow that with a third of the spaghetti sauce, a third of the ricotta mixture, a third of the vegetables, and a third of the shredded Italian cheese. Repeat this two more times ending with the shredded Italian cheese. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for an hour. When the hour is up, take the aluminum foil off and bake for another five minutes or so until the cheese on top is slightly browned.
First layer: noodles, sauce, ricotta, vegetables, shredded cheese.
A serving of lasagna.
We both got seconds, wiping out half the lasagna between the two of us. Mmmmm, mmmmm.