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Lasagna Soup

Here's one more super-easy recipe to stir up during this hectic holiday season. If you love lasagna but don't like all the effort it takes to assemble and bake, here is your ticket to cheesy pasta nirvana: lasagna soup. It's easier to assemble than traditional lasagna and here comes the "nirvana" part, it's healthy!

To make this a full meal, I adapted the recipe on to include 5 ounces of baby spinach at the end of cooking time. If you're a Weight Watchers member, you'll know that spinach adds Zero points. If you're not a WW member, you'll likely remember your mother's admonition to eat your vegetables. Enough said. Go ahead and dig in, thrilled that you're indulging in one of your favorite foods (Pasta!), but also maintaining your personal journey of mindful eating and good health.

Note to self: this isn't a diet. This is living La Dolce Vita!

14 oz. Italian chicken or turkey sausage, casings removed

1/2 onion, chopped

2 garlic loves, minced

2 Tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 1/2 cups water

2 cups jarred marinara sauce (preferably with no added sugar)

2 bay leaves

Black pepper

6 oz. broken lasagna noodles

5 oz. baby spinach, coarsely chopped

For topping:

6 Tbsp. part-skim mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese

3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Spray with nonstick spray and add the sausage. Cook until lightly browned, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the parsley, broth, water, marinara sauce, bay leaves and black pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes.

Add the broken pasta and cook uncovered until pasta is al dente. Add the spinach in batches until it wilts.

For the topping, in a medium bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan and 2 Tbsp. parsley.

Serve each bowl with 2 Tbsp. ricotta mixture, mozzarella cheese, fresh pepper and fresh basil on top.

Serves 6 (each serving= 1 1/3 cup)

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