Creamy ricotta-artichoke lasagna
Preparation time: 2 hr and 15 min
9 uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 boxes (9 oz each) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, well drained
3 tablespoons pine nuts
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 container (15 oz) fat-free or reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Italian cheese blend or part-skim mozzarella cheese (6 oz)
1 cup chopped fresh or 2 tablespoons dried basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups fat-free (skim) milk
Chopped tomato, if desired
Chopped fresh parsley, if desired
1. Heat oven to 350 F. Cook noodles as directed on package, omitting salt and oil and using minimum cook time. Drain; rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well; lay noodles flat.
2. Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add artichokes, pine nuts and garlic; cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. In large bowl, stir together artichoke mixture, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of the Italian cheese, half of the basil, the egg and salt. Set aside.
3. In 2-quart saucepan, stir broth and flour with whisk until smooth. Stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until sauce is slightly thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining basil.
4. In ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of the sauce. Top with 3 noodles. Carefully spread one-third of the ricotta mixture (about 11/3 cups) evenly over noodles. Top with one third of the remaining sauce (about 2/3 cup). Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the remaining Italian cheese. Repeat layers twice more, beginning with noodles and ending with Italian cheese.
5. Bake uncovered about 40 minutes or until thoroughly heated and top is lightly browned. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with tomato and parsley.