Saturday, March 1, 2008

Rosalie's Lasagna

Rosalie is getting married in July. As you might expect, in preparation for the "big day," our eating habits in A50 are, well, healthy. Very healthy. Our diet is best described as low fat (except when I have a bad day and end up topping whatever it is I just made extremely low fat with 2 TB butter - which I have done on several occasions this semester). We are not about to give up, completely, the foods we love, so I've invented low fat versions of almost everything I make. Still pretty inspired to cook thanks to the weekend in Miami, here is my newly invented low-fat lasagna. In honor of my betrothed roommate, I call it:

Rosalie's Lasagna
12-16 whole wheat lasagna noodles
3 links Italian turkey sausage
3 cups nonfat cottage cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 jars Barilla tomato & basil marinara sauce
2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400.

Cook lasagna noodles in large pot of boiling, salted water, 10 minutes. Do not overcook. When noodles are done, remove from water, place on baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, and allow to cool slightly.

In the meantime, brown sausage in nonstick pan, about 10 minutes on medium heat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper.

Layer ingredients in a 9 x 13 pan in the following order: 1/2 cup marinara, 3 lasagna noodles (may need 3 1/2 depending on size of pan), 1/2 cottage cheese mixture, 3/4 cup mozzarella, 1/2 sausage, 1 cup marinara, 3 more lasagna noodles, remaining cottage cheese mix, 3/4 cup mozzarella, remaining sausage, 1 cup marinara, 3 more noodles, 1/2-3/4 cup marinara, remaining mozzarella. Bake for 1 hour or until bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

This makes enough to serve at least 6(or 2 hungry grad students for an entire weekend), and if you only get 6 servings out of it (which you should get way more than that), it turns out to be somewhere around 14 grams of fat per serving. If you are on extremely low-fat diets, this lasagna is the one for you. It's lower-fat than the competition because of the cottage cheese. While I can find low-fat ricotta, I can find fat free cottage cheese. I have shunned using cottage cheese in my lasagna for a long time, but I really didn't mind it here. I also cut fat grams by swapping my usual pork sausage/ground beef combo for a small amount of turkey sausage. While pork sausage has about 18 fat grams per serving, turkey sausage only has 9. What a nutritional bargain, as my new friend Ellie Krieger would say! It's also a very "saucy" lasagna, which is another reason I named it after my roomie. She's a saucy lady! And she likes her pasta loaded with sauce. It's definitely appropriate. I think spinach would be a nice addition (or substitute for the turkey), as long as it's very thoroughly drained. Otherwise, you'd get a watery lasagna, and who wants that?

Whoever said fat free eating isn't yummy clearly never lived with us for a semester before a wedding.

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