How’s everyone doing with the “No Fizz?” I’ve been staying strong… although today I was craving a Diet Coke! I fought through it and had water instead. Here’s a little factoid… my friend Carolyn who is a nurse once told me that diet soda is a huge downfall for people with gastric bypass or a band. She says the carbonation can actually cause your stomach to expand and completely ruin the process! How awful!
This morning, I was having a nice leisurely morning and I caught an episode of one of their new shows, “Rachel Ray’s Week in a Day.” Now, normally Rachel and I do not have the same tastes. Once, she described beets as spelling “divine.” And beets are… well… let’s just say they are not my favorite. However, in this episode, Rachel was making “Lazy Lasagna with Lamb Ragu, Spinach, and Ricotta.” Well, “Lazy” anything will catch my attention. I’m all about a simple meal. So I decided to adapt this recipe and make a simpler version for dinner tonight.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 lb extra lean ground beef
- dried basil, oregano, and parsley (could use fresh—I had dried on hand)
- 1/2 can tomato paste
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 7-8 oz chicken stock
- 1 pkg. whole wheat lasagna noodles
- 16 oz. ricotta cheese (I used light)
- 1 cup Italian Blend Shredded Cheese
Brown ground beef with chopped onion. Drain fat. Add garlic and herbs—as much as you like—I used about 1/2 tsp of each. Cook until fragrant. Add tomato paste. Stir until incorporated. Add chicken stock. Be sure to loosen any bits on the bottom of the pot. Add diced tomatoes. Cover and simmer.
Mix 1/2 tsp each dried basil, parsley, and oregano into the ricotta cheese. Set aside.
Break lasagna noodles into bite-sized (or slightly bigger) pieces. (About 4-6 pieces per noodle) Cook lasagna noodles until they are on the firm side of al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, then drain pasta. Add pasta and pasta water to the beefy mixture. Allow to cook together for just a minute, then pour into a 9 by 13 baking dish. Spread the Ricotta over the beef/noodles. The top with the shredded cheese—as much as you want. I used about 1 cup.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, covered. Uncover for the last 5-10 minutes to allow the cheese to brown and bubble. Enjoy!
Yum! This lasagna is MUCH easier than doing the traditional layers. And I promise it tastes just as fabulous. Next time I might try using turkey sausage instead of beef, but this was very filling and is a great comfort dish!