IT’S CHRISTMAS! LET’S GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN AS FAST AS WE CAN.
Today’s post is actually a repeat of one we featured in 2013. And it’s well worth repeating. This Turkey Lasagna is big and bold and perfect for a weeknight. It downsizes your time in the kitchen to under an hour and maximizes the flavor you put on the table. I came across this recipe in Bon Appetit. It gave a prep time of 45 minutes and a bake time of another 45. Very doable–even on a weeknight. Believe it or not, I managed to cut the time down to a little over an hour. And this lasagna, while hardly authentic Italian, is absolutely terrific. And since this recipe is for 4 servings, you won’t be left eating a huge pan of lasagna until Spring. But like the cover photo, you can double it to serve 8. Served with a green salad, it’s a dinner not to be forgotten.
CONFESSION: I LOVE LASAGNA. AND I AM A TERRIBLE LASAGNA SNOB.
I think true lasagna is rich in béchamel sauce, with a Bolognese ragu that’s been stewing for hours. But that takes an all-afternoon of cooking and reducing and tasting. I still make lasagna that way. Not for me the Americanized versions at some long-ago student dinners. Including that awful one with cottage cheese. But it’s cold out and I was craving a baked pasta dish.
I HOPE I HAVE CONVINCED YOU TO MAKE IT. OR AT LEAST SEND THE RECIPE TO YOUR SON.
The one you’re never sure is eating right. I guarantee he can make it. The first thing you need is the best Marinara sauce you can buy. To me, that’s Rao’s. But if that’s outside your budget, Trader Joe’s has a very meaty tomato-based Marinara sauce for about half the price. I then took a little over a pound of turkey sausage, removed it from its casings, and added it directly to the Marinara sauce. While it cooked away, the no-boil lasagna noodles were bathed in a bowl of warm water, softening up and absorbing some liquid. These flat postcard-sized noodles should replace those much thicker, crinkle-edged you likely grew up with. The No-Boil noodles are heads and tails above those.
PLEASE DON’T GO ALL DIET-Y AND USED LOW-FAT CHEESES
While the ‘turkey bolognese’ bubbles away, three kinds of cheese are combined with 2 tablespoons of dried oregano. Low Fat cheese just doesn’t work as well. And with turkey practically fat-free, you need some fat to carry the flavor in this dish. Whole milk ricotta is a creamy delight. It’s paired with whole milk shredded mozzarella. You can even cheat here and buy the pre-shredded bags of the stuff. Finally, freshly grated parmesan is added. From there, it’s just a matter of layering the ingredients and topping the whole thing off with shredded mozzarella and parmesan. Into the oven, from which it emerges 45 minutes or so later puffed up and beautifully browned. My is it good! Here’s the recipe: