Saturday, July 15, 2006

Lasagna Florentine

Sometimes, the best recipes come right off the box. This one is no exeption.

My husband and I eat a lot of turkey burgers, so in a pinch, I grab the pre-measured 1lb ground turkey package. I saw the recipe on the back cover card and I decided to make it. The first time, I made it with commercial style lasagna noodles. The second time, I made it with fresh pasta. What a difference that fresh pasta makes!

Lasagna Florentine

9 uncooked long lasagna noodles - I use twelve, because I like to have the noodles on the bottom of the dish, as well
1 lb Lean Ground Turkey - I'm sure this recipe would work just as well for beef
2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
1 jar spaghetti sauce (26 oz) - or, your own. I usually use jarred for this if I don't have any leftover sauce. I also use two jars, because I like to be extra saucy!
1 container ricotta cheese (15 oz) - Part-skim doesn't dry as easily as FF
2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese, divided
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 package (10 oz) frozen spinach, thawed and well drained - I use fresh spinach (about 2 cups) and give it a rough chop.
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes - More or less to your taste- you taste these more in the leftovers!
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the noodles according to package directions (or, if you're using the fresh pasta, until al dente). Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the turkey and garlic over medium heat until the turkey is no longer pink (use a little canola oil to get this going). Add spaghetti sauce and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, egg, spinach, pepper flakes and nutmeg; mix well. (I've omitted the mozz the last two times I've made this, simply because it comes out cheesy enough!)

Spread about 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce mixture in the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish (This is where I add the couple of extra noodles to the bottom of the dish- THEN, I put in some of the sauce/meat mixture). Layer 1/3 of the noodles (3 noodles) over the sauce, top with another 1 cup sauce and 1/2 of the ricotta cheese mixture. Repeat layers, ending with noodles and sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes or until bubbly. Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Return lasagna to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let lasagna stand 10 minutes before serving.

Before serving:

Plated, with some fresh italian bread:

This stuff is terrific left over and microwaved. It feeds my family of two for almost a week!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Yum! I love lasagna. I've only made the spinach version without meat (and the other way around), so it's great to know of a tried-and-true recipe that uses both.