This recipe is SO good and apparently only 6 points according to the “Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook”, which is where I got this recipe. It is also pretty easy to make as Mike made this one for us one night a few months ago when I was super queasy and sleepy. Now its a tad too hot to be making lasagna, but hey, its still worth knowing this one exists. File it away to cook when its a nice chilly fall evening!
Lasagna with Meat Sauce
9 lasagna noodles
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 pound lean ground beef (10% or less fat) *you could use ground turkey too, but the flavor is better with beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
2 (15 oz) containers refrigerated marinara sauce
1 1/2 c. fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 c. shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. grated pecorino romano cheese
Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Drain and rinse noodles, set aside (OR: use the super amazing NO COOK noodles, which is what we did!)
In a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, cook the fennel seeds, shaking the pan and stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Watch them carefully, these guys burn fast! Pound the seeds between two clean kitchen towels or in a plastic bag with a mallet until finely crushed. Don’t worry if you suck at this, it still tastes good no matter what condition you get them in!
In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil and heat. Add the beef, onion, bell pepper and zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally until all the juices evaporate and the beef browns, about 10 minutes. Stir in the sauce and fennel, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened and the flavors blend, about 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a 9×13 inch baking dish, spread 1/4 of the meat sauce. Top with 3 of the noodles, 1/2 c. of the ricotta. Repeat the layering twice ending with the sauce (NOTE: if you use the no bake noodles, they need sauce to cook. So, you must put a layer of sauce on each layer of noodles, THEN add the cheese…it still works out that you have enough sauce so don’t worry. Just put a tad less in the bottom of the dish to start)
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle with the mozzarella and romano. Bake until heated through and the cheese are lightly browned, about 20 more minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. If you can restrain yourself from eating some garlic bread with it, you’re decently healthy here!!