Quinn will be off visiting his grandparents for his birthday, so we held his birthday celebration early this year. As is our tradition, I asked him what he wanted for dinner on his birthday. He asked for lasagna, which made me laugh a little because it is what my older sister always asked for on her birthday.
But, Quinn, being Quinn, asked for it in his own special way. “Don’t do anything funny to it, dad,” he said. “No eggplant or zucchini in it!”
So, I went with a healthier, but very traditional lasagna with three cheeses, turkey Italian sausage, whole wheat lasagna noodles and lots of fresh veggies and basil. It really was quite good. We made a light version of a 7-layer salad to go with it.
Quinn cleaned his plate, it didn’t matter that the lasagna was only 383 calories with 15 grams of fat and 6 of fiber.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
8 ounces brown mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound turkey Italian sausage
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 pound whole wheat lasagna noodles
15 ounces nonfat ricotta cheese
3 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 pound part-skim mozzarella, sliced thin
Fill a large bowl with very hot tap water and add the noodles. Let them soak about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper, and mushroom. Sauté until tender. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute. Add sausage and cook, crumbling the meat as you do, until it is no longer pink.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, half the parsley, the basil, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt. Simmer, uncovered, over medium to low heat for 15 minutes.
In medium bowl, combine cheeses, remaining parsley, salt and pepper, set aside.
Ladle 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of a greased 9x13 baking dish, spreading it evenly over the bottom. Add in layers, half the noodles, half the cheese mixture and 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat with remaining ingredients and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until sauce is bubbling. Let rest 5 minutes and serve.
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