Pasta Risotto & You

By Nancy Caivano


Lasagne Verdura

Vegetable Lasagne
Serves 6-10


1 lb lasagne
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, minced
3 large carrots, minced
10 cloves garlic, minced
   (or 2 tbsp jar chopped garlic)
1 small eggplant, peeled and diced small
8 oz mixed mushrooms, minced
2 large zucchini, minced
8 oz spinach, chiffonade (julienne)
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 lb container reduced-fat ricotta
   (you can use regular or non fat if desired)
2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
2 egg whites (you can use
   frozen egg substitute if desired)
1/4 cup chopped parsley (or 2 tbsp dry)
1 large block reduced fat Mozzarella, grated
   (You can use regular or non-fat if desired)
1 recipe tomato sauce


Cook lasagne until only halfway cooked—but pliable. Drain, toss with a little olive oil to prevent sticking and set aside.

Spray a large skillet well with cooking spray, and heat 1 tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic, and sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add eggplant, mushrooms, and zucchini, stirring to combine. Lower heat and cover, to let mushrooms and eggplant release liquid. When mixture is liquid, remove cover and raise heat back to medium-high and cook until all liquid is evaporated. Add spinach and cook until vegetables are beginning to brown. Add tomato paste, and sauté until vegetables are holding together. Take off heat and set aside.

Combine ricotta, 1 cup Pecorino Romano, egg whites and parsley until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat tomato sauce until warm.

Coat a large baking pan well with cooking spray. Coat bottom of pan with sauce, then make layers in this fashion: lasagne, ricotta, vegetables, romano, mozzarella, sauce—you should be able to make 3 layers—the top layer consisting of lasagne, romano, sauce and mozzarella. Sprinkle a little parsley on top.

Cover with foil and bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 30 to 45 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

After removing, wait at least 15 minutes before cutting so the lasagne can set.

Note: I use a food processor to mince the vegetables—if you don't have one, try and cut them as small as possible. Also, you can change the combination of vegetables to include just about any of them—most vegetables work in this dish. You can also reduce the amount of cheese if you prefer.


Tomato Sauce

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped (or 1 tbsp jar garlic)
2 cans crushed tomatoes
   (if you cant find it, use whole peeled tomatoes
   and throw it in the blender or food processor)
1 can tomato purée
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup chopped parsley (or 3 tbsp dry)
1/4 cup chiffonade (julienne) basil (or 1 tbsp dry)

In large saucepan, sauté onion and garlic in the olive oil until just beginning to brown. Add tomatoes, purée, and wine, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

After 1 hour, add herbs, salt and pepper, and continue cooking, uncovered another 30 minutes.

This sauce can be made ahead of time and frozen or refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.


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This page created January 1999