This lasagna is “slap-your-mama” good!! It will definitely be a huge hit with your friends and family. I got this recipe from one of my favorite chefs, Anne Burrell. I of course tweeked it to make it healthier. This is the best base for any kind of lasagna you want to make, you can make it vegetarian and gluten free. No matter what, this will be a huge hit with your friends and family.
1 tsp Sea salt
16 oz wholegrain lasagna noodles or Gluten Free noodles
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 1/2 pound spicy Italian sausage (Optional: vegetarian, turkey or chicken sausage to reduce fat)
6 cloves garlic, sliced
Crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb or 16 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 zucchini, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and sliced thinly on the bias
2 cups lowfat ricotta
2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
6 to 7 basil leaves, chopped
2 28 ounce cans of your favorite tomato sauce
1 pound grated skim mozzarella
Fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Lay noodles on rack, drain and set aside.
Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until brown and crumbly. Remove from pan and reserve on paper towels.
Remove fat from pan and add new olive oil saute 1/2 the garlic for a few minutes. Toss in the mushrooms and season them with salt. Cook the mushrooms until they are soft and wilted and dark brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from pan and reserve. Repeat this process with the remaining garlic and the zucchini.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, 1/2 the Parmigiano-Reggiano, the eggs, and the basil. Mix to combine well and season with salt.
In the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish, add a ladle full of sauce and spread out in an even layer. Arrange a layer of the lasagna noodles to completely cover the sauce. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the pasta. Place a layer of pasta going in the other direction as the first layer (this will give a little more stability). Spread a light layer of sauce on the pasta and sprinkle 1/3 of the sausage over the sauce, repeat this process with 1/3 of the mushrooms and zucchini. Sprinkle a layer of mozzarella and some of the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano over the veggies. Repeat these layers until all the ingredients have been used up or the pan is full.
Be sure that there is a layer of pasta on top covered with sauce and sprinkled with mozzarella and Parmigiano. Cover with foil.
Place the lasagna on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until the lasagna is hot and bubbly, about 1 hour 15 minutes, removing the foil for the last 15 minutes of cooking. Let cool for 20 minutes before slicing.
Note: For optimal slicing, make and bake the lasagna the day before. Heat it up again before slicing.
If you have a favorite lasagna recipe, send it to me and I will happily add it to my list!