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My Mom's Red Lasagna

This is a pretty straight up, straightforward, no frills Lasagna. It's like how my Mom used to make (except with Bella Vita Pasta Sauce, instead of Ragu). That's not to say it isn't awesome, 'cause it is! People love my lasagna! It's simple and relatable, without being boring. Put simply, it's ... yum!

This dish also freezes really well. Because I'm a single dude, I bake it, then cut it into portions, chill it, then vacuum pack the individual bricks and freeze them. From there, I tend to put them in the microwave on "defrost" and literally re-heat them entirely, using the defrost option in the microwave. It takes longer, but it gives me something that feels fresh from the oven, much more so than "nuked in the nuker".

This dish would be great with any number of low carb pastas. I've also done it by slicing the zucchini into very thin "planks", or adding something like grilled eggplant. I've seasoned and grilled them, and used them as layers, in place of the lasagna noodles. I've also used all-purpose crepes, in place of the lasagna noodles. Both work and create delicious results! In these cases, reduce the tomato sauce by just a bit and use a low-moisture mozzarella, rather than fresh. There's no pasta to absorb the extra liquid.

Thoughts on Pasta: I'm using Dreamfield's pasta in this recipe. It looks, tastes and cooks just like any other dried pasta that you may have used. They use some kind of fiber coating miracle matrix that keeps people from digesting the carbs. I don't want to claim that this product is perfect or that everyone reacts to it in the same way. I have read reports from diabetics stating that it DOES impact the blood, but that it's a slower release than most other pastas (meaning the rise and peak occurs later than it normally would, so ... check your blood levels several hours after eating it). Reports vary. Other diabetics have zero issue with it. Some low carbers claim it causes cravings for them, and others do not. Some claim it stalls them, others do not. My personal stance is that eating less than 2 servings at a time is acceptable and that it should be cooked as directed on the box, or even a little less. DO NOT OVER COOK (this breaks down the protective matrix ... which may be why some of the diabetics report changes to their blood sugar. These folks may have overcooked it). I also suggest eating only occasionally, no more than once a week. I have found that eating this about once every 2 weeks is perfect. I have been able to eat this and continue losing. However, if I eat it more than that, I tend to start developing cravings for it, which ... is never good. A well maintained low carb way of eating should result in very few cravings, if ever. This is a product that can, in my experience, cause cravings ... if abused. I very much feel that this is a great product and has never held me back from continued losses, however it's technically for maintenance and is a very high rung on the Atkins ladder (grain level). Eat with caution ... but also ... ENJOY IT. IT'S DELICIOUS!

Dreamfield's Nutrition Disclaimer: Due to the magic of the fiber coated matrix, a single 56 gram portion is shown as having 5 grams of digestable carbs. However, my recipe system isn't designed to display their nutrition information in the magical way in which they've been able to. As a result, I'm fudging the numbers to show 42 grams of carbs, with 37 grams of fiber. Technically, this isn't true, but it's the only way to have the math display numbers that match Dreamfield's claims.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 739.915kcal
Author: DJ Foodie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese whole milk
  • 2 large whole eggs
  • 3 cups parmesan cheese grated and divided into 2 parts
  • 6 each small green zucchini cut into 1/4-inch discs
  • 1 lb raw italian sausage
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 26-oz jar low carb pasta sauce
  • 2 lb fresh mozzarella sliced
  • 16 each low carb lasagna sheets
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350° F.
  • In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese, eggs and half of the grated parmesan. Mix, then divide into 4 rough sections in the bowl.
  • Pre-heat a large sauté pan over high heat.
  • Toss the zucchini discs with the olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper.
  • Add half of the zucchini to the pan and sauté it until it's just cooked through. Remove the zucchini and set it on a plate to the side of the stove.
  • Now, sauté the other half of the zucchini. The idea here is that you're sautéing the zucchini. If you place too many into a pan at once, it won't sauté. It cools the pan down too much and the zucchini just sweats, releases its water and gets mushy. A really large hot sauté pan might work for all of it, or use 2 or 3 pans at once. You want a nice caramelization on the outside, but still holding its shape. Once all the zucchini is cooked, set it aside. Divide into 3 portions and set aside.
  • In a separate pan, sauté the Italian sausage. If it's in a casing, cut one end of each sausage, then squeeze the sausage out of its casing. Break the meat up in the pan. The fat from the meat should be enough to keep it from sticking.
  • Add the ground beef to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and stir until cooked.
  • Add the tomato sauce to the sausage mixture and bring to a simmer.
  • Divide the sauce into 4 portions and set aside.
  • Spray the bottom of a 13 X 9 inch pan. Add a small amount of sauce to the bottom of the pan.
  • Place 4 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan.
  • Evenly spread one-quarter of the sauce mixture over the pasta.
  • Evenly spread one-third of the zucchini over the sauce.
  • Evenly spread one-quarter of the ricotta mixture over the zucchini.
  • Evenly spread one-quarter of the sliced mozzarella over the ricotta mixture.
  • Place 4 more lasagna noodles above the mozzarella.
  • Repeat these steps, layering the lasagna, until all the lasagna has been used.
  • On top of the final 4 sheets of lasagna, spread the remainder of the sauce, ricotta mixture, the rest of the mozzarella and finally, the remainder of the grated parmesan cheese.
  • Bake at 350° F for about an hour, or until cooked through and nice and browned on the top.
  • Remove from the oven and let rest for about 20 minutes, prior to slicing and serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 12g | Calories: 739.915kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.0925g | Protein: 44.4125g | Fat: 43.999166666667g | Fiber: 26.3975g