Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Use your noodle

Pre-workout breakfast: Cinnabon cereal with 1% milk

Workout: 25 minutes toning, 15 minutes abs and 2.2-mile walk with Denali


I made this for dinner last night. It’s Mushroom, Sausage and Spinach Lasagna. It was good. Mark liked the way the mushrooms complemented, ummm, something. He likes to act like he’s a foodie when he eats. It might be mean but I think it sounds kind of phony, especially when I used a jar of Ragu instead of the crushed tomatoes and fresh basil the recipe called for. But that’s history. In the present, I’m telling you that you should make it.


Mushroom, Sausage and Spinach Lasagna

8 ounces whole-wheat lasagna noodles

1 pound lean spicy Italian turkey sausage, casings removed (see Variation)

4 cups sliced mushrooms (10 ounces) (I only used 8 ounces)

1/4 cup water

1 pound frozen spinach, thawed

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably chunky (Nope. Try Ragu.)

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (See above)

Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

1 pound part-skim ricotta cheese (2 cups)

8 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 2 cups), divided


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray (I didn’t do this). Put a large pot of water on to boil.

Cook noodles in the boiling water until not quite al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain; return the noodles to the pot, cover with cool water and set aside (I didn’t do this, either).

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray (Again, I didn’t do this) and heat over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and water; cook, stirring occasionally and crumbling the sausage more, until the sausage is cooked through, the water has evaporated and the mushrooms are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Squeeze spinach to remove excess water, then stir into the pan; remove from heat.

Mix tomatoes with basil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. (Thanks, Ragu. You saved me a step.)

To assemble lasagna: Spread 1/2 cup of the tomatoes (Ragu) in the prepared baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top, trimming to fit if necessary. Evenly dollop half the ricotta over the noodles. Top with half the sausage mixture, one-third of the remaining tomatoes and one-third of the mozzarella. Continue with another layer of noodles, the remaining ricotta, the remaining sausage, half the remaining tomatoes and half the remaining mozzarella. Top with a third layer of noodles and the remaining tomatoes.

Cover the lasagna with foil and bake until bubbling and heated through, 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes (or 55 minutes if you are really hungry). Remove the foil and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on the lasagna. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is just melted but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes (5 minutes if you are really, really hungry). Let rest for 10 minutes before serving (or don’t let it rest because “Wheel of Fortune” is about to start).

By the way, did you know a Blow Pop has 60 calories? And eating one to curb your sweet tooth and avoid raiding the vending machine doesn’t always work?

Yeah, me neither.


  1. Good to know about the Blow Pop. I finally found the Extra Dessert Delights Mint Chocolate Chip gum yesterday. It won't replace my ice cream habit, but I tell you what... it might fix the afternoon munchies! :)

  2. Looks and sounds delicious . . . and I'm sure the mushrooms complimented the Ragu very nicely. SMILE!