Okay, you all know me. I don’t usually endorse any product. Like most of you, I have my favorites – and barring some natural disaster that wipes out their factory… and their delivery trucks… and every single case of product distributed across the country, it’s not likely that I change my buying habits. And, most of you feel the same way – I get that.
I particularly like Red Gold Tomatoes, and over this past year, Red Gold has approached me several times to do a sponsored post including themed recipes for their products. Unfortunately, It’s always been something that just wouldn’t meld with the way I cook. Call me snobbish about my recipes, call me.. well, whatever…. it just didn’t work out.
Until this month.
I love lasagna… I mean, make a pan and eat the whole thing kind of love. However, My own recipe is long, drawn out, and involved. It takes forever to make so I never get around to making it very often.
With this month’s promotion, they sent me a ridiculously simple recipe, some product, some noodles, and a coupon for some Laura’s Lean Ground Beef – so I figured, what the hell… lasagna IS kind of like pizza in the sense that – even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty damned good.
So, that lasagna.
Like always, I’ve made a few adjustments to their recipe. The ricotta cheese is gone (lactose issues) and I’ve replaced it with a thick, cheesy mornay sauce. Likewise, the mozzarella is vamoose as well substituting an Asiago / Parmesan / Fontina blend (all lactose free cheeses) – but basically, it’s their recipe – and it’s still very, very good
Oh, why the Skinny? Laura’s Lean Beef is 96% fat free. The mornay is made with 2% Lactaid Milk, and there is a total of 1 tablespoon of added oil to the entire mix…. so, yeah…. skinny.
Skinnier than Skinny Lasagna
Red Gold Tomatoes and Laura’s Lean Beef provided me with the products to prepare this recipe. And, while the products are theirs, the glowing love of the pie and their products is all me.
Makes 1 9″ x 9″ Lasagna (serves 6 to 8)
For the Filling:
1 Pound Laura’s Lean Ground Beef
1 (14 ounce) Can Red Gold Diced Tomatoes with Oregano, Garlic and Basil
1 (14 ounce) Can Red Gold Crushed Tomatoes
1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 Clove Garlic – Crushed
1 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds (optional)
For the Cheesy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Flour
1 Tablespoon Oil
1 1/2 Cups 2% Milk
1 Cup Shredded Italian Blend Cheese
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 Cup Shredded Italian Cheese Blend
1 Teaspoon Parsley – Minced
1 Box Lasagna Noodles – Uncooked
Tools of the Trade:
1 – 9″ x 9″ x 2″ Baking Pan
1 Sheet Tin Foil
Large Mixing Bowl
Medium Sauce Pan
Brown the Beef & Make the Sauce
In a medium sauce pan, add a couple drops of oil and the minced garlic, when the garlic heats up, add the beef, Italian seasoning and fennel seeds – saute until the beef is browned. Transfer the beef to a mixing bowl. Drain the Crushed tomatoes and retain the liquid.
Add the drained Red Gold Crushed tomatoes and the Red Gold Diced Tomatoes with Garlic, Oregano, and Basil to the beef and mix well
Make the Cheesy Mornay Sauce
In the same pan you browned the beef – Heat the oil over medium high heat, add the flour and stir to heat through.
Add the Milk. When the sauce begins to thicken, add the salt and pepper to taste.
When the sauce is thick –
remove from the heat and add the 1 cup of cheese
Stir well to combine and set aside
Pour the retained liquid into the bottom of a 9 x 9 pan
Top with a layer of UNCOOKED lasagna noodles (I know! But trust me)
Top with 1/2 of the Cheesy sauce and spread evenly…. Do the same with 1/3 of the meat sauce
Repeat for 2 more layers – ending with the last of the meat sauce. Top the lasagna with the remaining cup of shredded cheese and the parsley
Cover TIGHTLY with foil and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours.
Allow the lasagna to sit covered for 10 minutes before removing the foil.
When everything is finished, it will look like the above picture…. which isn’t all that pretty.
So… Retain about 1/3 of the cheese and top the lasagna again.
Place under the broiler for 3 minutes until the cheese is nicely browned and bubbly.
You’ll be rewarded handsomely for your efforts.