~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Lasagna... a bit lighter

Lasagna...a bit lighter.
I came up with this recipe after looking at a few lasagna recipes in all sorts of magazines. I combined a few techniques to come up with my own version that is a bit more on the lighter side. Granted it still has cheese and meat. But, I opted to use ground turkey and cut back on the amount of cheese.

I make a bechamel sauce to make it creamier....becomes the White Sauce. I also make my own tomato sauce that I combine with the meat...which becomes the Meat Sauce. I like making lasagna because you can assemble it and freeze it for another day. All you have to do is place it in the oven(frozen) covered until almost done in the center....remove the cover and bake an additional 20-30 minutes or until nice and bubbly. Just give yourself plenty of time for it to defrost in the oven as it bakes.(1-2 hrs)

Of course, you can easily play around with this recipe and amounts to make it your own! But, this is my version. Hope you enjoy...

You will need: for a 13x9 pan and a little leftover for a smaller pan(5x5?)

1 package of lasagna noodles, prepared according to the directions on the box

Meat Sauce:
2 cups diced onion
5 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
1 TBS oil
2lbs ground turkey
6 oz can tomato paste
28 oz can of whole tomatoes in juice
14.5 oz can whole tomatoes in juice
1 tsp sugar
2 TBS red wine
2-3 bay leaves
1 TBS + 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
pepper to taste
dried basil to taste

1. In a food processor, process whole tomatoes till nice and smooth. Set aside.
2. In a large soup pot, add oil and heat on med till oil is hot.
3. Add onion and cook till soft about 5-7 minutes.
4. Add ground turkey.
5. Crumble over med heat. Cook till no longer pink.
6. Add garlic stir and cook for 30 seconds.
7. Add tomato paste and processed whole tomatoes....stir.
8. Season with salt, pepper, wine, sugar and spices.
9. Lower heat, simmer and cook for about 1 hr stirring every so often.

Mushroom Layer:
16 oz sliced mushrooms
salt and pepper to taste

1. While the sauce is cooking, you can saute the mushrooms in a skillet with a bit of salt on med-high heat till nicely browned. Set the mushrooms aside.

Ricotta Layer:
32 oz carton of ricotta cheese
3 TBS minced fresh parsley
2-3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4-1/2 cup Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a med. bowl mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Bechamel (White) Sauce:
1 TBS olive oil
3 TBS flour
1 1/2 cups milk, if you need more you can add an additional 1/2 cup
1/2 -1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt,pepper, and nutmeg to taste

1. In a saucepan, add oil and flour. Stir to combine.
2. Add milk and stir to combine. Cook until the mixture is thickened about 3 minutes.
3. Add cheese. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Set aside.

Assemble the lasagna:
You will need some dried basil for sprinkling in between the layers and on top.
You will need extra shredded mozzarella cheese for layering. You can use as much or little as you want. You can also use a mixture to include provolone, spicy jack, fontina, or muenster cheese. You get the idea!

1. Place about 1/2 cup of meat sauce on the bottom of a 13x9 pan and spread it evenly.
2. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on top.
3. Spread about 1 cup of meat sauce on top of the noodles.
4. On top of the meat sauce, add about 1 cup of ricotta cheese spread evenly.
5. Spread some of the reserved mushrooms over the ricotta layer.
6. Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese and basil... or skip the mozzarella if you want it even lighter.
7. Repeat layer(or layers if you have a deeper pan).... Otherwise use an overflow small pan for the rest.
8. To the top layer, add bechamel white sauce and sprinkle with some shredded cheese(or use sliced cheese or a mixture of both) and basil. Do the same for the overflow pan, if using
9. At this point, you can bake the lasagna in a preheated 375 deg F oven ...for about 50+ minutes. Make sure you cover the pan with a lightly greased foil. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes or till heated through.
You can cover and place in freezer for a later date. Just bake frozen lasagna covered first and then remove cover and bake until nice and bubbly. Remember to give yourself plenty of time as the frozen lasagna will take quite a bit longer to bake. Let rest for 5- 10 minutes so the filling will not ooze out.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for all your effort .Let me tell you ,you are the only person that made me go to the kitchen and cook . Thank you again and Good Luck.

Ellie said...

Anon, Awww, that's so sweet of you! You are welcome...and thank you! I really appreciate your kind words, and am thrilled that I have inspired you to cook:).
Thank you for taking the time to comment. It means a ton!