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America’s Healthy
Cooking Teacher

Lasagnettes

Love lasagna, but hate the work, the calories, the saturated fat and the mess? Then these are for you. I adapted this recipe from my good friend, Nick Stellino, whose take on Italian food is fresh and innovative.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredient List: 

4–6 dry lasagna noodles
2 cups Pasta Pomodoro sauce
Extra- virgin olive oil
4–5 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, diced
Sea salt
Generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium carrot, diced
1–2 medium zucchini, diced
2–3 sprigs fresh basil, leaves removed, coarsely chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed, coarsely chopped
½ cup white wine
Cracked black pepper
Vegan parmesan cheese (optional)

Pomodoro Sauce

Once you make this easy recipe, you’ll never buy sauce in a jar again.

Makes 5-6 servings

Extra- virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
Sea salt
½ cup dry white wine (optional)
Cracked black pepper
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 cup tomato puree
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Spring or filtered water
1 carrot, left whole
3–4 sprigs fresh basil, leaves removed, coarsely chopped

Step By Step Instructions: 

Preheat oven to 450°Fo and lightly oil four4, 3 x 5 gratin dishes. You may also use four4, 4-inch ramekins.

Bring a pot of water to a boil with a generous pinch of sea salt. Cook the lasagna noodles al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and arrange flat on a wet cutting board. When cool enough to handle, cut the pasta to fit the dishes: 4-inch squares for the ramekins or 3 x 5-inch rectangles for the gratin dishes. You will need 3 pieces of pasta per dish. Place pasta in a bowl of cold water.

Place a small amount of oil, garlic, and onion in a skillet over medium heat. When the onions begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1–2 minutes. Stir in carrot and, a pinch of salt and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in zucchini and, a pinch of salt and sauté for 2 minutes. Add herbs, wine, and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5–7 minutes, stirring occasionally, to reduce the wine to a syrup. Stir in half the Pomodoro Sauce and simmer for 3–5 minutes.

Assemble the lasagnettes. Spoon a small amount of Pomodoro Sauce on the bottom of each dish. Top with a sheet of pasta. Spoon 2–3 tablespoons of veggies and sauce on top. Layer pasta and, veggies twice more, ending with veggies and sauce on top. Sprinkle with parmesan, if using.

Bake for 10–15 minutes, until the edges are browned. Cool 3–5 minutes before serving.

Pomodoro Sauce

Place a small amount of oil, along with garlic and onion in a sauce pan over medium heat. When the onions begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and sauté for 1–2 minutes. Add wine, if using and a pinch of black pepper. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, and tomato paste. Add 1 cup water and season to taste with salt and pepper. Submerge the carrot in the sauce. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour.

When the sauce is cooked, remove the carrot from the sauce (it helps reduce the acidity of the quickly cooked tomato sauce). Season to taste and garnish with fresh basil