So lovely to see you again! I don’t have a good excuse for my lapse. I wish I did. I wish I could tell you about how fine the powder was snowboarding Bariloche, tipsy wine tastings in Mendoza, or climbing Machu Picchu at dawn—but those things only happened in my imagination. Instead I could tell you about how first I was sick, and then had a visitor, and then the internet went out. I could tell you about my crazy schedule teaching at elementary schools, high schools, and the college. I could tell you about what a chub-a-lub I've been turning into and how I swear every time I go near the kitchen, my thighs grow a little just on principle! But what’s important is: I’M BACK! And I have a whole menu of exciting stuff planned! Starting with this fantastic lasagna! What's magical about it you ask? It's happens to be another triple-threat: It's the quickest lasagna I've ever made, it's easy (I promise), and it's actually really healthy, packed with veggies and low-fat.(which is important...for the chubster over here!)
Never-Know-It’s-Low-Fat Speedy Spinach and Cheese Lasagna
(Makes about 8 servings)
2 tablespoons olive oil + 1 tablespoon
1 onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 cups tomato puree
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 lb (about 2 cups) low fat ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried parsley or thyme
9 no-boil lasagna noodles
3 cups fresh spinach, torn into bite sized pieces
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 to 3 minutes, then add onions and sautee about 5 minutes. Add carrots, and sautee about 3 more minutes. Add tomato puree, salt, and garlic powder, and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium low.
While it’s simmering, combine ricotta, parmesan, egg, and herbs in a large bowl. Grease your baking dish with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. This is when I tear the spinach and shred the cheese. The sauce should cook a total of about 10 to 15 minutes, but whenever you’re done with everything else, go ahead and remove the sauce from heat.
Then bring together all the ingredients for assembly: sauce, ricotta mixture, noodles, spinach, and the mozzarella cheese for topping. Start by ladling enough of the sauce into the bottom of the baking dish to barely cover it, then put in a layer of noodles. Next, add the spinach, then another layer of noodles. Add another layer of sauce, then the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with one more layer of noodles, then any remaining sauce, and top it off with the shredded mozzarella.