Friday, January 29, 2010

I Love This Lasagna

It's painful to put this photo up, but without any natural light, this was the best I could do. Oh well! You all know what lasagna looks like anyways!

I was DELIGHTED with how this recipe turned out. Seriously, it was kind of pathetic how happy it made me. But there's little worse in my book than spending an afternoon making a rather elaborate dinner only to have it flop. Thank goodness, that was not the case yesterday!

I chose this recipe because it earned 5 stars from 272 reviewers on Thank you, Ina Garden, for a restaurant-quality lasagna minus the joy (read: hassle) of trying to entertain the toddler while at said restaurant. :)

Turkey Lasagna
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound lasagna noodles
15 ounces ricotta cheese
3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

Preheat to 400 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up, for 8 to 10 minutes or until no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain. (Or skip this and use no boil noodles!!)

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9x12 baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one 1/3 of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

My alterations:
  • Do yourself a favor and use no-boil noodles. It makes lasagna so much easier!
  • Despite the name, Turkey Lasanga, mine didn't actually have any turkey in it... I had ground beef and spicy Italian sausage on hand, so that's what I used. I liked the slight kick the spicy sausage gave it, and I also added a 1/4 red pepper flakes.
  • 1 1/2 pounds would be plenty of meat for this dish. I reduced to a pound and was happy I did.
  • I used shredded mozzarella instead of fresh (convenience). No regrets.
  • Though the recipe is meant for a 9x13 pan, I divided mine into two disposable 8x8 pans, one of which I froze for when the baby comes. (Yay!)


Jeni said...

Ok, this looks heavenly. I am making this.

Rachel Hagen said...

oh dear, you post good recipes. i'll admit, i've never been a big cooker. but now i have more time on my hands with a fun kitchen to cook in. even though it might be dangerous, i'm glad i know your blog. :) congrats on the second boy!! we're enjoying the city and getting to know the area, thanks for saying hi and good luck with things.