Our favorite turkey spinach lasagna

Monday, April 21, 2014




Vu and I have an on and off relationship with Italian food.  Sometimes we crave for it.  Other times, we stay away from it for months for no particular reason.  When the cravings hit, they strike hard and send us to the nearest store to pick up ingredients for recipes that we know by heart.  



Today, we are sharing with you our take on the classic lasagna.  The traditional lasagna consists of layered pasta sheets alternating with generous amount of ragu, bechamel, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.  After years of making lasagna, Vu has perfected the recipe for our go to lasagna dish--spinach and turkey lasagna.  



We buy fresh spinach lasagna sheets from our favorite pasta store, Assenti’s Pasta, in Little Italy. Lately our schedule keeps us pretty busy so we resort to store bought Ragu sauce instead of making our own marinara sauce.  One thing that we do not deviate from the recipe is using homemade ricotta cheese, usually made the day before.  Store bought ricotta cheese doesn’t quite bring the wow factor.  We also use ground turkey instead of ground beef for a healthier alternative.  



With Aiden keeping us so busy, we have come to appreciate one pot meals like lasagna to fuel us for a few days.  



We hope you’ll love this lasagna as much as we do!




Spinach Turkey Lasagna (original recipe)


6 spinach lasagna sheets
1 tsp salt (for lasagna sheets)
2 tbsps olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped 
1-1.5 lbs of ground turkey (depending how meaty you like your lasagna)
1 tsp salt 
¼ tsp ground pepper
2 cups of Roma tomato, cubed 
1 16 oz jar of Ragu roasted garlic sauce (you can use your favorite sauce or make your own)
2 tbsps sugar 
1 ½ cups of homemade ricotta cheese
2 cups of shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese 
¼ cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese  

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
2. In a large pot, bring several quarts of salted water to a boil. Add pasta sheet one at a time (to prevent them from sticking together) and cook until very al dente, about 2 minutes (follow the cooking instruction for the pasta you’re using). Remove from water using a spatula and place on a towel lined baking sheet.
3. Place the olive oil and garlic in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add ground turkey and saute until lightly brown, breaking any large lumps, until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  
4. Add Roma tomato and Ragu sauce to the pan and bring to a boil.  Add the sugar.  Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.  Reduce heat and let it simmer, about 15 minutes.  (If the sauce is too runny, let it cook for another 10-15 minutes.)
5. In a separate bowl, combine the Mozzarella cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
6. In the bottom of a 7x10 inch baking dish, spread ¼ of turkey mixture in bottom of the dish and arrange 2 pasta sheets over turkey mixture for the first layer.
7. For the second layer, evenly spread ½ cup of ricotta cheese.  Spread ¼  of turkey mixture over ricotta cheese.  Spread ¼ of cheese mixture (mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano) over turkey mixture.  Place 2 pasta sheets over cheese mixture.
8. For the third layer, evenly spread ½ cup of ricotta cheese.  Spread ¼ of turkey mixture over ricotta cheese.  Spread ¼ of cheese mixture (mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano) over turkey mixture.  Place 2 pasta sheets over cheese mixture.
9. For the final layer, evenly spread ½ cup of ricotta cheese.  Spread 1/4 of turkey mixture over ricotta cheese.  Spread ½  of cheese mixture (mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano) over turkey mixture.  
10. Cover the lasagna dish with aluminum foil. Put on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove cover and continue to bake for another 15 minutes.  
11. Remove lasagna from oven and let it stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving.