It seems like winter makes for a lot of great time in the kitchen. It makes sense, I mean the days are a lot shorter, and with as drafty as our house is sometimes I just like standing over a warm stove. All the extra kitchen time allows for more devotion to creating some wholesome dishes. Jessi and I have recently been toying around with a paleo-esque diet. While we're not firm believers that this is the best way to live and most healthy diet around, we do believe that it has some valid parts. Most importantly the reduction in gluten (the paleo diet however omits all gluten) and processed foods. I, Michael, am no doctor or nutritionist, but have seen some digestive benefits in just a week of drastically reducing gluten/refined flours from my diet.
This recipe is not gluten free and certainly not Paleo, but is quite delicious. Be forewarned — this recipe takes some time. The original instructions said 30 minutes of prep time. It took me an hour. Then it has to bake for almost 1.5 hours. Best to make it on a weekend. You can always knock off a little time by using the no-cook lasagna noodles. It serves around 10, so there lots of leftovers! Ole! Modified from Eating Well.
- 8 ounces lasagna noodles
- 1 1/4 lb lean spicy Italian chicken or sausage, casings removed (for you veggies: omit or use fake sausage)
- 1 8 oz package sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 x 10 oz packages frozen spinach, thawed
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, preferably chunky
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 pound part-skim ricotta cheese, (2 cups)
- 8 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 2 cups), divided
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until not quite tender, about 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain; return the noodles to the pot, cover with cool water and set aside.
- Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 4 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and water; cook, stirring occasionally and crumbling the sausage more, until it is cooked through, the water has evaporated and the mushrooms are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Squeeze spinach to remove excess water, then stir into the pan; remove from heat.
- Mix tomatoes with basil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
- To assemble lasagna: Spread 1/2 cup of the tomatoes in the prepared baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top, trimming to fit if necessary. Evenly dollop half the ricotta over the noodles.
- Top with half the sausage mixture, one-third of the remaining tomatoes and one-third of the mozzarella.
- Continue with another layer of noodles, the remaining ricotta, the remaining sausage, half the remaining tomatoes and half the remaining mozzarella.
- Top with a third layer of noodles and the remaining tomatoes.
- Cover the lasagna with foil and bake until bubbling and heated through, about 1 hour.
- Remove the foil; sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is just melted but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.