Inside-Out Lasagna

I didn’t really make any New Year’s Resolutions this year because, well, I’m not good about keeping them. I did, however, set out some general goals that I’m going to try to work on. One of those goals was to eat more fruits and veggies on a daily basis, and maybe even try some new ones. Along the same lines, I’m determined to actually eat the produce in my fridge before it goes bad – we waste too much food! This recipe that I found in the newest issue of Eating Well (a magazine I mentioned the other day and am enjoying more and more as I flip through!) allowed me an opportunity to use lots of the veggies I had on hand.

Inside-Out Lasagna

The dish comes together fairly quickly so it’s perfect for a weeknight meal. It’s also highly adaptable – any number of veggies would work and if you wanted to add meat, you could throw some ground turkey in with the onions and garlic. I didn’t have whole wheat pasta on hand so I used regular penne. The mushrooms and ricotta were easily my favorite parts of the dish. The mushrooms I used were pre-sliced and fairly thick; they added meatiness so I didn’t miss the meat in this dish at all. I stirred the dollops of ricotta into the warm pasta to make the sauce just a bit creamy. Shane won’t touch this one so I’m psyched to have all of the leftovers for myself!

Inside-Out Lasagna
from Eating Well, February 2010

8 ounces whole-wheat rotini or fusilli
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
8 ounces sliced white mushrooms (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
8 cups baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

Add pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package direction. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms release their liquid, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add tomatoes, spinach and crushed red pepper (if using). Increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring once halfway through, until the spinach is wilted, about 4 minutes.

Toss the sauce with the pasta and divide among 4 bowls. Dollop each serving with 3 tablespoons of ricotta.