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By Jane Frederick Dush

Special to CSMS Magazine

Those of you who love lasagna, there is a sophisticated way in preparing it that will never infringe upon your diet, and Jane Dush was kind enough to bring to you.

“Whole-grain pasta is one of the easiest ways to sneak whole grains into your diet,” says food blogger Heidi Swanson. Her lasagna, made with noodles broken into 1-inch pieces, features a healthy pesto made with walnuts and basil.

            1 cup walnut halves

               (4 ounces)

            2 cups lightly packed

               Basil leaves

            1 large garlic clove, very thinly sliced

            ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

            ¾ cup freshly grated

                Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

            Salt and freshly ground

                   Black pepper

            1 pound whole wheat

                Lasagna noodles, broken into 1-inch pieces

            6 ounces watercress arugula or other bitter greens, thick stems discarded and leaves coarsely chopped

           1.      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 8 to 10 minutes, until they are fragrant and lightly browned. Let cool completely. Coarsely chop half of the toasted walnuts aside.

  1. 2.      In a food processor, pulse the remaining toasted walnuts with the basil leaves and sliced garlic until walnuts are finely chopped. With the machine on, add the olive oil in a thin stream and processed until pesto is almost smooth. Add ½ cup of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and pulse just until incorporated. Transfer the walnut pesto to a bowl and season it with salt and pepper.
  2. 3.      Add the broken whole wheat lasagna noodles to the boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water. Return the drained pasta to the pot. Add watercress and walnut pesto and toss again until well coated. Transfer the pasta to bowls, garnish with the remaining ¼ cup of grated Parmigano-Reggiano cheese, the chopped walnuts and sautéed mushrooms and serve the pasta immediately.  

Note: Jane Frederick Dush lives and works in Irvington, New Jersey. She isa  nutritionist. She wrote this piece, specifically for CSMS Magazine.

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