Rosemary-Chicken Lasagna

"When people ask me what my qualifications are," Rebecca Hathaway says, "I start by telling them I have 29 years of experience in eating well!" After creating this recipe on a cold winter evening, Rebecca experimented with other lasagna combinations. She came up with so many delicious-sounding recipes that she was invited to teach a class on lasagna at the Cooking School of the Rockies.

CHICKEN FILLING

3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 lb. bone-in skin-on chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
6 oz. mushrooms, sliced (about 2 1/3 cups)
2 small green bell peppers, diced (1/4 inch)
2 tablespoons white wine, if desired
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted*

CHEESE FILLING

24 oz. low-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Gruyère cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt

SAUCE

5 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

LASAGNA

12 cooked lasagna noodles
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Gruyère cheese

1. Chop enough rosemary to measure 1/2 teaspoon; reserve for garnish. Place chicken and remaining rosemary sprigs in medium skillet. Add enough water to almost cover chicken. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 10 minutes or until no longer pink in center and juices run clear, turning once. Place chicken and rosemary on plate; cool. Shred chicken. Remove rosemary from stems; finely chop. Place chicken and rosemary in medium bowl.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion; cook 4 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms, bell peppers and wine; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until liquid is reduced and vegetables are tender. Stir in pine nuts; remove from heat.

3. In small bowl, stir together all cheese filling ingredients.

4. To make sauce, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 3 minced garlic cloves. Whisk in flour; cook 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth and thoroughly blended. Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; cook 2 to 4 minutes or until thickened.

5. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 1 cup of the sauce in pan. Layer as follows: 3 noodles, half of the cheese filling, half of the vegetables, 3 noodles, 1 cup of the sauce, chicken filling, 3 noodles, remaining cheese filling, remaining vegetables, 3 noodles and remaining sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, 1 cup Gruyère cheese and 1/2 teaspoon reserved chopped rosemary.

6. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and cheese begins to brown in spots. Let stand 10 minutes.

TIP *Toast pine nuts in dry skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, or microwave on high 1 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned.

12 servings

PER SERVING: 430 calories, 23.5 g total fat (12 g saturated fat), 28 g protein, 27 g carbohydrate, 110 mg cholesterol, 645 mg sodium, 1.5 g fiber


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