It’s getting chilly out and that means it’s time for comfort food! Yay!!! Hooray!! (Cue the somersault and smiley face). I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like lasagna. Okay, maybe those super picky, annoying vegans and gourmet-challenged people. But in my social circles, lasagna is a major crowd-pleaser. It’s great for a party cause you can make it ahead and serve whenever. Plus, the leftovers are great!
I made it healthier by using ground turkey but then I added sausage for flavor. Oops!
YOU WILL NEED:
1 small onion chopped (or if you are lazy like me, buy a bag of the pre-chopped onion)
1 box lasagna noodles
½ package Jimmy Dean ground Sausage (I like the HOT one)
½ pound ground turkey
1 bag fresh spinach
8 ounces shredded mozzarella
15 ounces ricotta cheese
2 ounces goat cheese crumbled (optional)
About 10-15 fresh basil leaves
1 28-ounce can pureed tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 tbsp. Fines Herbes
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 cup Shaved Parmesan
Grease a large rectangle baking dish
Brown onions in large sauté pan in about 1 tbsp olive oil. Add ground turkey and sausage and brown. Meanwhile, puree in food processor the ricotta, basil leaves and goat cheese.
Boil lasagna noodles a bit under al dente (if they are cooked too much, they will fall apart when you try to cut the lasagna. No fun. In large saucepan, put tomatoes and tomato paste. (I add a splash of red wine for a but more flavor. Red wine never hurts). Add Fines Herbes, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Add meat and let simmer about 5 minutes.
Begin layering – about 1 cup of meat/sauce mixture on the bottom, then lasagna noodles, then some of the ricotta/basil mixture. Then sprinkle a bunch of the fresh spinach. Pat down. It will look messy, but it cooks down and will look great I promise. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella over. Repeat layers – sauce, noodles, ricotta, spinach, mozzarella. Top with rest of the sauce and sprinkle Parmesan over.
Cover with foil and put on baking sheet to catch any overflow. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake about 15-25 minutes more.
DID YOU KNOW?
U.S. spelling lasagna, is a wide, flat pasta shape and possibly one of the oldest. The word also refers to a dish made with this type of pasta with different sauces and baked in the oven. As with most other types of pasta, the word is a plural form, lasagne meaning more than one piece of lasagna ribbon. Traditionally, the dough was prepared in Southern Italy with semolina and water and in the northern regions, where semolina was not available, with flour and eggs. Today in Italy, since the only type of wheat allowed for pasta is durum wheat, lasagne are made of semolina (from durum wheat) and eggs.
There are three theories on the origin of lasagne, two of which denote an ancient Greek dish. The main theory is that lasagne comes from Greek λάγανον (laganon), a flat sheet of pasta dough cut into strips. The word λαγάνα (lagana) is still used in Greek to mean a flat thin type of unleavened bread.
Another theory is that the word lasagne comes from the Greek λάσανα (lasana) or λάσανον (lasanon) meaning “trivet or stand for a pot”, “chamber pot”. The Romans borrowed the word as “lasanum”, meaning “cooking pot” in Latin. The Italians used the word to refer to the dish in which lasagne is made. Later the name of the food took on the name of the serving dish.
A third theory proposed that the dish is a development of the 14th century English recipe “Loseyn” as described in The Forme of Cury, a cook book in use during the reign of Richard II. This has similarities to modern lasagne in both its recipe, which features a layering of ingredients between pasta sheets, and its name. However, an important difference is the lack of tomatoes, which did not arrive in Europe until after Columbus reached America in 1492. The earliest discussion of the tomato in European literature appeared in an herbal written in 1544 by Pietro Andrea Mattioli while the earliest discovered cookbook with tomato recipes was published in Naples in 1692, though the author had apparently obtained these recipes from Spanish sources.