Makes 9 servings

Recipe from

Real Simple


12 ounces extra-lean ground beef or ground round
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 26-ounce jar roasted-tomato pasta sauce (or your favorite pasta sauce)
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons shredded fresh basil
1 15-ounce container low-fat ricotta
1 cup shredded provolone or Italian-blend cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
12 cooked lasagna noodles
1 8-ounce package 2 percent milk mozzarella, shredded
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided


Cook the beef in a large saucepan over medium heat, breaking into small pieces, for about 5 minutes or until no pink meat remains. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the pasta sauce, tomatoes, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of the basil. Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, provolone, 2 tablespoons of the basil, the egg, and the crushed red pepper. Place 3/4 cup of the pasta-sauce mixture in the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Top with 3 cooked noodles, then spread a third of the ricotta mixture evenly over the noodles. Sprinkle with a third of the mozzarella and top with 3/4 cup of the pasta-sauce mixture. Repeat the layers, ending with 3/4 cup of the pasta-sauce mixture and the final 3 noodles. Spread the remaining sauce on top, sprinkle with the Parmesan, and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes; uncover and bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with the remaining basil.

Maureen Callahan,

Real Simple

June 2004
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