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 spinach, chopped
- 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
- 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.
- Heat the oil in a skillet.
- Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring until they are lightly browned.
- Remove from pan or push to the side.
- Squeeze turkey out of the casings into the pan, breaking up into bits.
- Cook turkey until it’s no longer pink.
- Puree canned tomatoes (do not drain) in a blender or food processor.
- Add pureed tomatoes to the meat, onions, and garlic, stir and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add butter, spinach, oregano, basil, and pepper to the pan.
- Partially cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs.
- Stir in ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella, and parmesan.
Assembly & Baking:
- Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a 9×13 (or use a non-stick stoneware) cooking pan.
- Spread ¼ of sauce on bottom of pan.
- Layer 4 uncooked sheets of pasta, 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.
- Layer 4 sheets of pasta, remaining ricotta mixture and ¼ of the sauce.
- Top with 4 sheets of pasta, remaining sauce, and 1.5 C mozzarella.
- Bake, covered with foil until bubbly (50-60 minutes).**
- Uncover and cook until cheese on top is melted and starting to brown (about 5 minutes).
- 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 (like me), 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).