Lasagna is one of the most comforting of all comfort foods...however it’s packed with more calories and carbs than most of us need in a meal.
To turn lasagna into a healthier, lighter, more fitness-centric recipe the first thing that must go are the noodles.
In this recipe I’ve used sliced butternut squash to replace the noodles. It is possible to use zucchini as a replacement for butternut squash. Slice the zucchini more thickly than the butternut squash, about ¼ inch thick, and tent the foil loosely for the first 30 minutes of the bake time. The zucchini version will inevitably have more liquid released during the baking, so you may want to drain off some of this liquid before serving.
olive oil spray
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 cup marinara sauce
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
2 Butternut Squashes
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 egg, beaten
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13 × 9-inch casserole dish with olive oil.
Spray a large skillet over medium-high heat with vegetable oil spray. Add the ground beef, garlic, onion, and oregano. Cook, stirring often, until the beef is browned, about 10 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and basil. Cover and simmer on low for 5 minutes.
Slice the squashes in half horizontally where the neck meets the wider base. With the flat cut ends on your working surface, peel the necks of the squashes. Then slice the neck of each squash into 12 rounds about ⅛ inch thick. (Use only the neck here. Use the base of the squash in another recipe; peel, cut the fatter part in half, and scoop out the seeds before slicing or cutting into cubes for another dish.)
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, parsley, and egg.
Spread half of the meat sauce over the bottom of the prepared casserole pan. Top with 12 butternut squash rounds. Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the top of the butternut squash. Repeat with the remaining meat sauce, remaining 12 butternut rounds, and remaining ricotta mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with the mozzarella, and bake for another 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with additional fresh basil. Enjoy!