ONLINE EXTRA -- LASAGNA RECIPES: Spinach and Sausage Lasagna . . . Lasagna Loaf . . . Roasted Vegetable Lasagna, etc.

Spinach and Sausage Lasagna FOR THE SAUCE: 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings 1/4 cup heavy cream 2 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes 1/2 teaspoon sa...

Spinach and Sausage Lasagna


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped


1½ pounds sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings

¼ cup heavy cream

2 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves


2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed, and squeezed of excess liquid


1 15-ounce container whole milk ricotta cheese

1 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1½ teaspoons salt

¾ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 box imported no-boil lasagna noodles

4 cups (1 pound) shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese


Make sauce: Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add sausage and cook, stirring frequently to break up, until meat loses its pink color, about 5 minutes. Stir in cream and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost evaporated, another 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and basil and bring to a simmer. Turn down the heat and cook at a bare simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer sauce (about 8 cups) to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until cool, at least two hours and up to 2 days.

Make filling: Place spinach in triple layer of paper towels and squeeze to remove any remaining moisture. Stir together spinach, ricotta, ½ cup Parmesan, eggs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Assemble lasagna: Spread ¼ cup sauce across bottom of 13-inch-by-9-inch freezer-and oven-safe lasagna pan with 3-inch sides. Place 3 noodles crosswise on top of sauce. Dollop 3 heaping tablespoons of spinach-ricotta mixture over each noodle (9 heaping tablespoonfuls per layer). Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella. Spoon 1½ cups sauce over cheese. Repeat 2 more times. Top with remaining 3 noodles and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cup mozzarella and remaining ½ cup Parmesan cheese.

Freeze lasagna: Cover top of dish with a sheet of parchment paper. Wrap entire dish in several layers of plastic wrap and a layer of heavy-duty foil. Freeze for up to 2 months

Bake lasagna: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the parchment, plastic, and foil. Spray a fresh sheet of foil with nonstick cooking spray and use it to cover dish tightly. Bake until noodles are soft and lasagna is heated through, 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until cheese on top is browned, filling is bubbling, and the interior registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, another 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Yield: Serves 8.

Lasagna Loaf

2 links hot, lean, turkey Italian sausage, casings removed


1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons pesto, optional

1 cup shredded Italian-blend cheese, divided

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning

1¾ cups favorite pasta sauce, divided

6 no-boil lasagna noodles

10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry


2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, brown the sausage, breaking it up as you cook. Remove the sausage from the skillet to a paper towel-lined plate. In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, pesto if using, ¼ cup Italian-blend cheese, egg and Italian seasoning.

In an 8-inch-by-4-inch loaf pan, spread ¼ to 1/3 cup of the pasta sauce on the bottom. Spread ¼ cup of the ricotta mixture on one noodle and place it in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle some of the spinach and cooked sausage on top, then spoon on a few tablespoons of the pasta sauce. Top with a few tablespoons of the Italian-blend cheese. Repeat the layering, reserving a good ¼ cup pasta sauce and cheese for the final top layer.

Press down slightly. Spread the remaining pasta sauce on top of the last noodle, sprinkle with remaining cheese and the Parmesan.

Cover with foil and bake the loaf about 35 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes making sure the noodles are fully cooked. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Yield: Serves 3.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 544 calories, 44 percent of calories from fat, 27 grams fat (13 grams saturated), 36 grams carbohydrates, 41 grams protein, 1,321 milligrams sodium, 143 milligrams cholesterol, 9 grams fiber.


Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

3 cups sliced zucchini

3 cups sliced mushrooms

3 cups eggplant, peeled and quartered

2 red peppers, seeded and sliced

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3 teaspoons dried oregano, divided

¾ teaspoon salt, divided

¾ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

8 cups plum or Roma tomatoes, quartered

3 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced

½ teaspoon fennel seed

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons sugar

1 15-ounce container low-fat ricotta cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Nonstick cooking spray

9 no-boil lasagna noodles

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Have ready 2 large sided baking sheets, such as a jelly roll pan.

On 1 baking sheet place the zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant and red peppers. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons oregano, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and toss to coat.

On the other baking sheet, toss the tomato wedges with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, remaining 1 teaspoon oregano, fennel seed, ¼ teaspoon black pepper and red pepper flakes.

Place both in the oven and roast uncovered for 15 minutes. Turn the vegetables over and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Remove roasted vegetables and roasted tomatoes from oven.

Carefully place the tomatoes and all pan juices in a bowl and add the sugar and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Mash the tomatoes to create a sauce.

In a medium-sized bowl combine the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, parsley and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; set aside.

Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. To begin layering the lasagna, place about 1/3 cup of tomato sauce in the baking dish, spreading to cover the bottom of the dish. Top with 3 noodles, half the ricotta cheese mixture, half the roasted vegetable mixture and one-quarter of the tomato sauce. Begin again with 3 noodles, remaining cheese mixture, remaining roasted vegetables and remaining 3 noodles. Top noodles with remaining tomato sauce and a ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Bake lasagna uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes or until edges are bubbly and the cheese topping is golden brown.

Yield: Serves. 10.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 277 calories, 42 percent of calories from fat, 13 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 26 grams carbohydrates, 14 grams protein, 369 milligrams sodium, 25 milligrams cholesterol, 284 milligrams calcium, 4 grams fiber.

Quick, Cream Lasagna


15 ripple-style oven-ready lasagna noodles (such as Ronzoni; from 2 boxes)

FILLING (choose one):

Chicken: 4 cups cooked, shredded meat (from 1 rotisserie chicken)

Seafood: 2 cups (1 pound) pasteurized lump crab meat plus 2 cups cooked salad shrimp

Vegetarian: 1 pound sliced mushrooms sauteed and mixed with 2 thawed, squeezed-dry (10-ounce) boxes frozen chopped spinach


1½ teaspoons dried basil

12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened

½ cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 24- to 26-ounce jar good-quality marinara sauce

4 cups (1 pound) grated part-skim mozzarella cheese

¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Vegetable oil spray

Place oven rack in lower-middle position; heat oven to 400 degrees.

Dissolve 1½ tablespoons salt in 2 quarts piping hot tap water in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Add noodles and soak until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, mix filling of choice with basil, 8 ounces of the cream cheese and ¼ cup of the broth. In another bowl, mix remaining 4 ounces cream cheese and ¼ cup broth; set aside.

Smear ¼ cup marinara sauce on bottom of baking dish. Layer ingredients in this order:

3 noodles

Scant cup marinara

1 cup filling (scant if vegetarian)

¾ cup mozzarella

2 tablespoons Parmesan

Repeat layering 3 times, for a total of 4 layers.

Top with remaining 3 noodles, cream-cheese broth mixture, 1 cup mozzarella and ¼ cup Parmesan.

Spray a large piece of aluminum foil with oil and place it, oil side down, over the pan, sealing tightly. Bake until bubbly throughout, 40 to 45 minutes (50 to 55 minutes if it went straight from the refrigerator into the oven).

Leaving the lasagna on the same rack, remove the foil and broil until spotty brown, about 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Yield: Serves 10.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving based on chicken filling: 496 calories, 40 percent of calories from fat, 21.4 grams fat (10.9 grams saturated, 6.2 grams monounsaturated), 103.4 milligrams cholesterol, 38.3 grams protein, 35.4 grams carbohydrates, 2.3 grams fiber, 866 milligrams sodium.

Shortcut Lasagna

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1½ pounds ground beef

1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes

1 8-oz. can tomato sauce

2 envelopes (1.37 oz. each) dehydrated spaghetti sauce mix

2 11½-ounce cans tomato vegetable juice (V8 or the like)

1 pound package lasagna noodles

12 ounces cottage cheese

8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Chopped parsley

Heat oil in a large skillet; add meat and cook, breaking up with wooden spoon. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, sauce mix, and tomato vegetable juice. Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Cover the bottom of an oiled 13-by-9-inch baking dish with a thin layer of meat sauce. Then add a layer each of uncooked noodles, cottage cheese, and mozzarella. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used, ending with meat sauce.

Cover casserole tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil. Set on a jelly roll pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven; let stand 15 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle top of lasagna with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Cut into squares and serve.

Yield: Serves 12.

Cream-Style Mexican Lasagna

1½ teaspoons vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup red and green bell pepper strips

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 or 2 4-ounce cans diced green chilies, drained

1 8-ounce container sour cream

2 10½-ounce cans condensed cream of chicken soup

24 6-inch corn tortillas

4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 1 pound)

4 cups shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican mix cheese

Salsa, chopped cilantro, chopped avocado and/or additional sour cream (optional)

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet. Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic until fragrant and lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle on cumin and chili powder. Stir in chilies, sour cream and soup.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Spread 1 cup of the soup mixture on the bottom. Top with 6 tortillas, cutting them into quarters so you can place the triangle sides into the corners. Top with 1 cup of the chicken and 1 cup of the cheese. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. Spread remaining soup mixture on top. Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with optional garnishes as desired.

Yield: Serves 12.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 610 calories, 65 percent of calories from fat, 44.7 grams fat (13.5 grams saturated, 16.4 grams monounsaturated), 86.4 milligrams cholesterol, 28 grams protein, 25.6 grams carbohydrates, 2.7 grams fiber, 840 milligrams sodium.

Convenient Slow-Cooker Lasagna

1 pound ground beef

2 29-ounce cans tomato sauce

8-ounce package lasagna noodles, uncooked

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1½ cups cottage cheese

Spray the interior of the cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large nonstick skillet, brown the ground beef. Stir in the tomato sauce; mix well.

Spread ¼ of the meat sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker. Arrange one-third of the uncooked noodles over the sauce, breaking them up if necessary to fit better.

Combine the cheeses in a bowl. Spoon 1/3 of the cheese mixture over noodles.

Repeat these layers twice; top with remaining sauce; cover and cook on low for 4 hours.

Yield: Serves 6.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 704 calories, 36 grams fat, 51 grams carbohydrates, 45 grams protein, 127 milligrams cholesterol, 2,256 milligrams sodium, 5 grams dietary fiber, 46 percent of calories from fat.

Spinach and Sausage Lasagna Rolls

10 lasagna noodles

½ pound mild or spicy Italian sausage

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 medium onion, peeled, sliced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 medium zucchini, washed, diced

10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

½ cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese

¾ cup shredded Italian-blend cheese

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Crushed red pepper flakes to taste

1½ cups favorite pasta sauce

4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the onion, red pepper and zucchini. Continue sauteing until zucchini is just tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the spinach and heat through. Remove from the heat. In a separate bowl mix the cheeses. Season with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes to taste. Stir the cheese mixture into the sausage mixture.

Place the cooked lasagna noodles flat on a clean work surface. Evenly divide the sausage mixture on one end of the noodles. Roll up the noodles. Place the lasagna rolls in a baking dish and pour the pasta sauce over. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese if using. Bake about 15 minutes to just heat through. Remove from the oven and place two rolls on each serving plate along with some sauce and serve.

Yield: 10 rolls.

Approximate nutritional analysis per roll: 237 calories, 38 percent of calories from fat, 10 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 25 grams carbohydrates, 12 grams protein, 561 milligrams sodium, 21 milligrams cholesterol, 162 milligrams calcium, 2 grams fiber.

Mixed Company Vegetable Lasagna

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, chopped

2 cups firmly packed, cleaned baby spinach

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3½ cups marinara sauce

9 to 10 no-boil lasagna noodles

2 cups pesto (homemade or your favorite brand)

8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow onion to sweat, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. When onion starts to lightly brown, add garlic and red pepper and cook approximately 5 more minutes.

Add the spinach to the skillet and cook until just wilted, approximately 2 minutes. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs, ricotta cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese together. Set aside.

Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Place a ½ cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of the dish. Top with 3 lasagna noodles. Spread half of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles. Top with half of the spinach-onion mixture. Top with 1 cup of the marinara sauce.

Top with 3 more lasagna noodles. Spread all the pesto over those noodles. Top with the remaining spinach mixture, then the last 3 or 4 noodles, the remaining ricotta mixture and the rest of the marinara sauce.

Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese and remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese evenly on top.

Cover and bake in a preheated, 375-degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes more, or until the cheeses are browned and the lasagna is bubbly and hot.

Yield: Serves 8 to 10.

Vegetable Lasagna

8 ounces dry lasagna noodles

3 eggs, beaten

2 15-ounce containers ricotta cheese

1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed

2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1¼ cups whole milk

2 cups firmly packed, cleaned baby spinach, cooked and squeezed dry, or 1 10-ounce package of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 head broccoli, blanched and chopped, or 1 10-ounce package frozen, chopped broccoli, thawed and drained

1 cup shredded carrot

¾ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

Cook the noodles for about 10 minutes until tender but firm, then drain and set aside. In a medium-size bowl, combine the Italian seasoning, ricotta, cottage cheese and eggs, then set aside. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms and cook 4 to 6 minutes, or until vegetables become soft. Add the pepper and flour. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes to make a roux. Add the milk and let mixture come to a boil while stirring. When it has thickened slightly, remove from the heat.

Add ½ cup of Parmesan cheese along with the carrot, broccoli and spinach. Spray a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with nonstick spray. Layer the bottom with 1/3 of the noodles. Spread a layer of ricotta cheese mix, and on top of that a layer of the vegetable mixture. Top that with a layer of the mozzarella cheese.

Repeat this process twice more, and put a layer of Parmesan cheese as the final topping.

Bake in a preheated, 350-degree oven for 40 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Yield: Serves 8 to 10.

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