Yesterday I was inspired to make lasagne rolls, which are all the rage on Pinterest right now. I pinned recipes from some of my favorite bloggers, and intended to make one of those. But for some reason, I find the act of assembling a layered lasagne to be soothing. I like to pretend that I’m in a kitchen in Tuscany rolling out sheets of pasta by hand and cooking giant batches of sauce from raw tomatoes rather than shivering in a cold kitchen in Pennsylvania with dried Barilla pasta. But I digress.
My culinary daydream brings me here. I veered away from traditional lasagne components, substituting Neufchatel for a lot of other cheeses in the cheese layers. I also whipped in a number of colorful vegetables to round out the dish’s flavor and to give it some visual appeal. The result is skinnier, with unexpected flavor, and lots of vibrant vegetables (hence the ‘Rainbow’).
Another achievement here? My mushroom marinara. It’s my go-to pasta topper, and it’s easy to make. This makes just enough for one lasagne, but could easily be doubled for your freezer, if you feel like getting down with your Inner Italian Chef.
Also, a note: please let your lasagne set before you try to eat it. Otherwise, things tend to fall all over themselves, and your Rainbow Lasagne becomes Rustic Rainbow Lasagne. Case in point:
Enough chatter. It’s lasagne time.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp minced garlic, divided
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning, divided
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tbsp dried minced onion
- 8 oz canned mushrooms, drained and diced
- 1/2 cup frozen bell peppers, thawed and diced
- 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed
- 4 oz Neufchatel cheese
- 15 oz part skim ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp egg substitute
- 7 lasagne noodles
- 1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella
*Like all of my recipes, this was created with the goal of being as low sodium as possible. As such I’ve relied on no-salt added components and haven’t added salt. If you don’t add salt, you may find this a bit bland, unless you’re like me and you allow some of your salad’s balsamic vinegar to deliciously invade your lasagne.
- Make the mushroom marinara by heating olive oil over medium and adding one tablespoon of garlic. Heat until garlic is fragrant, then add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, one tablespoon of Italian seasoning, parsley, minced onion, and mushrooms. Allow the marinara to cook and thicken while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, add one tablespoon garlic, one tablespoon Italian seasoning, bell peppers, spinach, Nneufchatel, ricotta, and egg substitute. Combine these thoroughly using a hand mixer.
- Cook your noodles. I think 7 is just enough to hold the mixture together, and it keeps the carb count down, but use as many as you like. When finished cooking, drain them most of the way, leaving just enough starchy water to keep them from sticking to one another.
- Put your lasagne together. Put a small amount of mushroom marinara on the bottom of a 13″ x 9″ baking dish, then follow with noodles, more sauce, and cheese. Repeat until you’ve used up your noodles, sauce, and cheese mix. I like to end with noodles, and cover them with my remaining cheese mixture.
- Top the dish off with shredded mozzarella.
- Cover the lasagne with foil, and pop it in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake for 10-15 more minutes until bubbly.
- Let the lasagne set for at least half an hour before eating unless you want a deliriously delicious mess on your hands.
Serves 8* | 282 Calories | 33 g Carbs | 11 g Fat | 16 g Protein | 5 g Fiber
*Normal people. At a table of Hungry Pennsylvanians, this serves 6.