Yes, I know. This was supposed to be a Broccoli Rabe & Turkey Sausage Lasagna but all I changed was the greens and the sausage and added heat to the sauce. Blame it on The Nudge. He is not a fan of rapini and his sausage must be pork, so to keep this healthy using the same flavors, I made this version.
There was one other reason. I found myself with a hunk of pancetta. Yes, it was a Manager's Special and yes, I always scour the meats for special sales. Do I sound cheap? It's just that at regular price, I get about 5 thin slices. When the date is ready to expire, I get a 4-inch roll for the price of 5 slices. I take it home, slice it up and freeze servings for individual use.
While I was performing surgery, I realized I still had a lasagna on the meal plan and the pancetta would fit nicely into that recipe. Plus, I was beginning to see a pattern of comments in those healthy magazine websites. I always read the reviews and the majority post 'bland and boring', needs more flavor. I agree and since spices and herbs add zero fat and carbs why not make them all sing with appealing flavors.
The biggest mistake many people make is not adding wine to a tomato sauce. Wine and tomatoes are best friends and wine, especially white, makes such a huge difference in the taste of tomato sauces. I am serious. Make your sauce sans the wine and taste when done. Add a half cup and cook for 5-6 minutes longer and taste again.
I used a plate as a template and for two lasagnas, cut 6 pasta rounds.
Layer with sauce, pasta, sauce, half the ricotta & spinach, pasta, sauce, ricotta & spinach and final pasta covered with sauce.
Be sure to place the ramekins on a sheet pan they will surely bubble over (and they did not disappoint).
Hubby loves the edges blackened so I always broil the tops. Check out those edges.
We loved the pork and spices which played well with the creamy ricotta and earthy greens.
As always, I will post the original recipe with my changes in parenthesis. This was a Make Two, Freeze One recipe but if you want only one lasagna it will successfully halve. I just made mine in ramekins.
Broccoli Rabe & Turkey Sausage Lasagna
Makes: 2 casseroles, 4 servings each
EatingWell: This lasagna has plenty of broccoli rabe and goes light on the turkey sausage, so it's lover in fat and calories than traditional lasagnas. Feel fee to make one larger lasagna (in a 9x13-inch pan) instead of two smaller ones; just increase the cooking time a bit for the larger pan size.
* 1 pound Italian turkey sausage, hot or sweet, casings removed (sub: 2 ounces of chopped pancetta)
* 1 medium onion, finely chopped
* 1/4 cup chopped garlic
* 12 cups chopped broccoli rabe, tough stems removed (sub: 1 bag fresh spinach, stems removed)
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/2 cup red wine (sub: white wine)
* 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
* 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
* 1 14-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
* 1/4 cup Kalamata olives
* 1 tablespoon capers rinsed (sub: omited this)
* 1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese
* 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (sub: 1 chipotle pepper in adobo)
* 12 whole-wheat lasagna noodles (sub: fresh pasta sheets)
* 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
2. Cook sausage in a Dutch oven over medium heat, crumbling with a spoon, until no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Add onion and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add broccoli rabe and water and bring to a simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are wilted and most of the water is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add wine; increase heat to high and cook until mostly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add Italian seasoning, crushed and diced tomatoes, olives and capers; reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Combine ricotta, Parmesan and pepper in a small bowl. Break enough off the end of each lasagna noodle so they can fit into the baking dish (it’s OK if they don’t break in a straight line); reserve the broken pieces for another use (like a soup) if desired.
4. To assemble: Spoon 1/2 cup of the sauce into each prepared baking dish. Cover with 3 lasagna noodles. Dollop 1/2 cup of the cheese mixture on top, spreading gently. Top with about 1/2 cup sausage and 1 cup sauce. Repeat the layers, ending with the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle each lasagna with 1/2 cup mozzarella.
5. To serve: Coat a piece of foil with cooking spray and cover the baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese is golden, about 20 minutes more. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. To freeze: Let unbaked lasagna(s) cool to room temperature. Tightly wrap with heavy-duty foil (or freezer paper) and freeze. (To prevent foil from sticking to the cheese, coat with cooking spray first.)
Per serving: 388 calories; 15 g fat (6 g sat, 5 g mono); 71 mg cholesterol; 34 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 30 g protein; 7 g fiber; 679 mg sodium; 751 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (49% daily value), Calcium (45% dv), Vitamin A (43% dv), Zinc (30% dv), Iron (28% dv), Magnesium (24% dv), Folate (23% dv), Potassium (21% dv).
Tip: Sodium amounts vary widely among brands of crushed tomatoes. And although it’s hard to find any that are labeled “low-sodium,” for the best tomato flavor we use brands that have little or no added sodium. Compare nutrition labels and choose one that has 190 mg sodium or less per 1/2 cup serving.