Zucchini Lasagna with Chicken Sausage

Zucchini Lasagna with Chicken Sausage

Today, I learned something new—”lasagna” is the American spelling of the delicious pasta dish and “lasagne” is the Italian way. Since I want to reduce the amount of refined carbohydrates in our diets, I decided not to use the traditional pasta noodle. Instead, I used healthy sliced zucchini. I found that slicing the zucchini using the mandoline was less time-consuming than cooking the pasta. Also, I used sweet Italian chicken sausage. I just added a little more fennel and a  generous pinch of red pepper flakes for extra “kick.” Well, I am pleased to say that my dish was a success in taste and reducing the carbs! This non-pasta version is going to be regular meal in our diets.

Zucchini Lasagna with Chicken Sausage

Zucchini Lasagna with Chicken Sausage

Zucchini Lasagna with Chicken Sausage

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Trader Joe’s Sweet Chicken Italian Sausage or Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • ½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon organic dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon organic dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 zucchini (8 to 9 inches long), sliced lengthwise ¼-inch thick.
  • ½ pound part-skim shredded light mozzarella cheese
  • ½ pound low-fat cottage cheese
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Zucchini Lasagna with Chicken Sausage

Directions:

  1. In a large nonstick frying pan, brown the chicken sausage until it is no longer pink, breaking it up into small pieces. Drain any excess fat.
  2. Using a 3 quart pan, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, sausage, oregano, basil, fennel, red pepper flakes and parsley. Cover and simmer for at least one hour, stirring occasionally. Add pepper to taste. (To have a less watery dish, I would cook the sauce until almost all the liquid is gone. The zucchini contains a lot of water and the baking process will bring out more liquid).
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9” x 13” lasagna baking dish with oil.
  4. Spread a little sauce over the bottom of the dish. Cover with 7 zucchini slices, spread half the mozzarella and cottage cheeses and sprinkle with one-third of Parmesan cheese. Then add one-third of sauce, just enough to cover. Repeat with zucchini and cheeses. Finally, add the third layer of zucchini, followed by remaining sauce and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake uncovered for about 50 to 60 minutes, until zucchini is tender.  Take out of the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes. Serve hot. 10 servings.

Zucchini Lasagna with Chicken Sausage

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Spicy Chicken Lasagne

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What is wonderful about the holidays are family traditions. Every year, I make lasagne for Christmas Eve dinner. This year, I decided to use mild spicy Italian chicken sausage from Whole Foods. It’s not organic, but it contains no antibiotics or hormones. The chicken sausage was delicious with just the right amount of spices! What is great about this dish is that the sauce can be made in advance, so all you have to do is cook the lasagne noodles and assemble. It makes for fabulous leftovers and came in handy for the day after Christmas, when my daughter and I were crazy enough to go shopping!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Whole Foods Mild Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage (sometimes I use hot spicy sausage)
  • 1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • ½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon organic dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon organic dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 9 lasagne noodles, cooked and drained
  • ½ pound part-skim shredded light mozzarella cheese
  • ½ pound low-fat cottage cheese
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. In a large nonstick frying pan, brown the chicken sausage until it is no longer pink, breaking it up into small pieces. (Depending upon the sausage I use, sometimes chicken or turkey sausage, I may have to drain the fat from the meat. This time I did not have to drain).
  2. Using a 3 quart pan, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, sausage, oregano, basil and parsley. Cover and simmer for at least one hour, stirring occasionally. Add pepper to taste.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9¼” x 13¼” lasagne baking dish with vegetable oil.
  4. Spread a little sauce over the bottom of the dish. Cover with 3 lasagne noodles, spread half the mozzarella and cottage cheeses and sprinkle with one-third of Parmesan cheese. Then add one-third of sauce, just enough to cover. Repeat with noodles and cheeses. Finally, add the third layer of noodles, followed by remaining sauce and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake for another 15 minutes. Take out of oven and let it sit, covered with foil for 10 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 12.