Lasagna (Lasagne?) Redux

This recipe is a combination of the one I found in the Fanny Farmer cookbook I got as a gift when I moved into my first apartment, the directions on the box of lasagna, and my own additions. Namely, cutting out a TON of added salt, the use of turkey sausage instead of beef, and the addition of spinach (because I have to hide veggies in other stuff to get my husband to eat them).

Meat Sauce Ingredients:

  • 3 T olive oil
  • ½ C chopped onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic*
  • 1 pkg Jennie-O Italian Turkey Sausage (sweet)
  • 3 cans diced or whole tomatoes (no salt added) – do not drain
  • 1.5 C baby spinach
  • 3 T butter, melted
  • 1 t oregano, crumbled
  • 1 t basil, crumbled
  • ½ t ground black pepper*

Cheese Mixture Ingredients:

  • 4.5 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 C ricotta cheese
  • ¼ C grated parmesan (NOT Kraft in the green can)*
  • 2 eggs

Plus:

  • 1 pkg no-boil lasagna

*Obviously, fresh is best, but I often go with the easy, pre-packaged route, and I think it tastes just fine.

Meat Sauce:

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet.
  2. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring until they are lightly browned.
  3. Remove from pan or push to the side.
  4. Squeeze turkey out of the casings into the pan, breaking up into bits.
  5. Cook turkey until it’s no longer pink.
  6. Puree canned tomatoes (do not drain) in a blender or food processor.
  7. Add pureed tomatoes to the meat, onions, and garlic, stir and simmer for 15 minutes.
  8. Add butter, spinach, oregano, basil, and pepper to the pan.
  9. Partially cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Ricotta Mixture:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs.
  2. Stir in ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella, and parmesan.

Assembly & Baking:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a 9×13 (or use a non-stick stoneware) cooking pan.
  2. Spread ¼ of sauce on bottom of pan.
  3. Layer about 4 uncooked sheets of pasta (assuming your pasta is flat, like in the photo below , or possibly an extra 3/4 sheet on one end if yours is longer and you’re putting in in lengthwise), ½ of the ricotta mixture, ¼ of the sauce, and 1 cup mozzarella. Be sure to spread fillings to the edges of the pan to seal it all in. The pasta will expand during cooking.
  4. Layer 4 sheets of pasta, remaining ricotta mixture and ¼ of the sauce.
  5. Top with 4 sheets of pasta, remaining sauce, and 1.5 C mozzarella.
  6. Bake, covered with foil until bubbly (50-60 minutes).**
  7. Uncover and cook until cheese on top is melted and starting to brown (about 5 minutes).
  8. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting into 12 servings.

** Towards the end of the cooking time, if you’re using a 2-inch deep pan, it may bubble over a bit. You may want to put foil underneath to catch the drippings to avoid filling your home with smoke and angering the smoke detector gods (like I forgot to do when before I got a deeper pan).

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