Lately, I’ve been obsessed with two lovely ladies: Smitten Kitchen (who is coming out with a cook book in October 2012) and the Pioneer Woman. I love Smitten Kitchen’s easy and sometimes fancier fare, while Pioneer Woman produces more hearty, homestyle eats for her family and fans. Both ladies bring something to the (kitchen) table, so to speak.
Now, considering I’ve worked all day long, I was ready to play….in the kitchen, of course! During Ron’s cleanup (like I talked about earlier today with the Chocolate Banana Bites), he found a box of wheat lasagna noodles that we had neglected. He was thinking of throwing them away (what is UP with that, Ron?? Drives me crazy!), but I said, “Heck, no, we’re having Lasagana night!!!” Which we’ve actually never done before.
I decided to try one of Pioneer Woman’s lasagna recipes, but it had alot of ingredients that I didn’t have on hand and it wasn’t exactly healthful. I decided to adapt her recipe and make it lighter—no white noodles, beef, or whole milk ricotta in this recipe. We made a lighter lasagna that still had some veggies and meat, but without the heavy hulk of all the fattening ingredients. This recipe actually reminds me of California—green bell pepper (fresh produce), ground turkey (lighter fare), spices, fire-roasted tomatoes (Transamerican influences), red pepper flakes, and white wine (Wine Country!). This is my California Lasagana, a subtle smoky and spicy lasagna that is both healthy and comforting! Hurray, enjoy!
- 10 ounces, Wheat Lasagna Noodles
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/2 Medium Onion
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 1 whole Red or Green Bell Pepper, Diced
- 1 can (14.5 Ounce) Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
- 1 small jar of Marinara Sauce (12 oz)
- ½ cups White Wine
- ¼ cups fresh Parsley, chopped (Optional)
- 1/4 cup fresh Basil, chopped, or 1 1/2 tbsp dried basil
- ½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 15 ounces, Low Fat Ricotta Cheese
- 1 whole Egg
- 1/2 bag of Grated Parmesan and Mozzarella or Italian Mix of Cheese
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Extra Parmesan Cheese, For Sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and lay flat on a paper towel to dry.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for a minute. Add diced bell pepper and saute for another minute or so. Pour in wine, tomatoes, and sauce, and add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and stir. Stir to combine and let simmer for 20 minutes or so. Stir in chopped parsley and basil.
In a separate bowl, combine ricotta, egg, 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, salt, and pepper.
To assemble, spread a little of the vegetable/tomato sauce in a lasagna pan. Layer four cooked noodles in the pan, slightly overlapping them if necessary. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on the noodles. Top the ricotta mixture with some shredded cheese. Spoon a little less than 1/3 of the veggie/sauce mixture over the mozzarella.
Repeat the layering two more times, ending with a large helping of vegetable sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan.
Bake at 350 degrees, covered in foil, for 20 minutes, then remove foil and continue baking for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.