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Healing Kitchen

Lasagnette
Sometimes the solution to a recipe makeover comes from adjusting your thinking about the dish, not simply removing the fattening things. Take lasagna, for example. If you start with a standard, old-fashioned lasagna, like the recipe that was sent to us by Tim Brody of Port Washington, NY, your first temptation might be to use nonfat cheeses to carve away some of the 39 grams of fat in each serving. But, frankly, we find this type of recipe repair produces a dish that's not worth eating. Wouldn't it be better to preserve the flavors and textures of the original, and just reduce the total amount of food a wee bit? The Italians seem to understand better the idea of having pasta in more modest portions, because they have a lasagna-type dish called lasagnette, which is a smaller version of a lasagna (it's got only two layers of pasta instead of the usual three). So, we took Tim's original recipe and cut it back to create a lasagnette. While we were up, we also made some modest fat-reducing changes: the beef became lean turkey breast and the full-fat mozzarella became part-skim. If you turn this into a vegetarian lasagna, you make an even greater fat savings, getting a serving down to only 9 grams.

PER SERVING
BEFORE
AFTER
Calories
678
298
Dietary fiber (g)
4
3.6
Total fat (g)
39
12
Saturated fat (g)
19
5.3
Cholesterol (mg)
127
53
Sodium (mg)
1994
606

The Ingredients
 2 teaspoons olive oil  1 medium onion, finely chopped  2 cloves garlic, minced  8 ounces lean ground turkey breast  1 can (28 ounces) no-salt-added crushed tomatoes  1/2 teaspoon salt  1/3 cup fresh basil, finely chopped  6 lasagna noodles (4-1/2 ounces)  6 ounces (3/4 cup) part-skim ricotta cheese  4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese  4 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

    1. In large nonstick saucepan, heat oil over low heat. Add onion, garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 7 minutes or until onion is soft. Add turkey and cook, stirring, 3 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink.

    2. Add tomatoes, salt, and cayenne and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 7 to 10 minutes until flavors have come together and sauce is lightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in basil.

    3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling water, cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions until al dente. Drain.

    4. In large bowl, stir together ricotta and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan. Spread 1/2 cup of sauce over bottom of a 9- x 13-inch glass baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on top. Spread ricotta mixture over. Sprinkle half the mozzarella over. Top with 1-1/2 cups of remaining sauce.

    5. Top with 3 remaining lasagna noodles, sauce, mozzarella, and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake 20 minutes or until set and piping hot.

    Makes 6 servings

    Per serving: 298 calories, 12g total fat, 5.3g saturated fat, 4.3g monounsaturated fat, 1.4g polyunsaturated fat, 3.6g dietary fiber, 21g protein, 28g carbohydrate, 53mg cholesterol, 606mg sodium.
    Good source of: calcium, lycopene, selenium.

    Author: the Healing Kitchen staff
    Date Published: 05/07/2000
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