Friday, October 19, 2012

"Bolognese" Lasagna

vegetarian bolognese lasagna

Is lasagna on your "yes" or "no" food list? Lasagna can be a gut-buster, but this one is on the lighter side. Low fat sour cream replaces ricotta and vegetarian sausage replaces meat.  The icing on the cake? Oil infused tomatoes and basil. While this recipe is not difficult, it does require a bit of time. Perhaps the perfect project for a lazy Sunday. I hope you will try it. My parents {who prefer meat and potatoes} came to my home to care for me following a big surgery last year {forever thankful}. My mother prepared this, per my request, and liked it so much she actually took home the recipe.

"Bolognese" Lasagna

1 lb Field Roast vegetarian Italian sausage, crumbled or if links then casing removed and sausage finely chopped
2 medium sweet yellow onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
olive oil
2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano
2 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes
fresh ground salt and pepper
a small bunch of fresh basil
6 oz freshly grated Parmesan
8 oz dried lasagna noodles (Barilla makes a "no boil" version which is a nice time saver)
2 c low fat sour cream
1 large ripe tomato or 2 small vine ripened tomatoes, sliced

To make the sauce:
Add 2 T of olive oil to a large saute pan over med-high heat. Add the vegetables and oregano and cook, stirring occasionally for about 7 minutes until softened and lightly colored. Stir in the sausage and canned tomatoes. Fill one empty can with water and add to the pan. Stir in a pinch of salt and pepper. Pick the basil leaves and set aside in the refrigerator. Finely chop the basil stalks and stir into the sauce. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.

To finish the sauce:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove sauce from heat and stir in 2 oz of Parmesan cheese.Tear and stir in larger basil leaves, reserving smaller ones for later. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning if necessary.

To make the lasagna:
Prepare the lasagna sheets per the packaging instructions. Spoon a third of the bolognese sauce in the bottom of a large rectangular oven proof dish. Follow with a layer of lasagna sheets. Dollop and spread 1/3 of the sour cream on top. Sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and pepper and 1/3 of the Parmesan.  Repeat this process twice more and finish with a layer of sour cream and Parmesan. Top with tomato slices and reserved basil.  Drizzle with olive oil. Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 35 minutes, until bubbly and golden.

Serves 8.

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Source:  Adapted from Jamie Oliver (original recipe calls for sausage and bacon).

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