Rav love & Lasagna
Goodness, people. All the Ravelry love is going to go to my head! I just published a preview of my Anam Cara Kilt Hose, and it’s being queued like mad and generating dozens of comments. I have been turning away test knitters because I already accepted three, and got talked into 5 or 6, and decided I *really* had to cut it off there. Thank you. You’ve all made my week. I’m so inspired! The pattern will be out just as soon as I’m happy that it’s clear and in a clean draft. I may have it up in beta late next week, and hope to have it finished by the end of the month. I want to wait for someone to have knit through the whole thing besides me.
And that brings me to the other point of this post– Lasagna! I have a lovely dish bubbling away in the oven, and thought I would write up the recipe.
No Boil Lasagna
I don’t know about you, but I hate boiling lasagna noodles. Especially the rice noodles that I have to eat. They rip and stick together and are generally, well, like wet noodles. I learned a while ago that I could bake lasagna, and let the sauce and ingredients soften the noodles while they cook! It’s a miracle. I forget who taught me this trick, but it’s a good one. So, with no further ado:
- A box of lasagna noodles. I love Tinkyada.
- Two big 28 oz cans of your favorite crushed tomatoes
- 1 small can of tomato paste
- 1/2 lb spinach
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 1/2 lb spicy italian sausage
- 1.5 lb ground turkey
- 3 T crushed garlic
- 2 T italian seasoning plus a little for a garnish
- 1 T white pepper
- 2 C ricotta cheese
- 1 C cottage cheese
- 1/2 lb blended Italian cheese, or 1/4 lb mozzarella and 1/4 lb parmesan, or your favorite mix of cheeses
- 1/4 lb parmesan or asiago for the top
Chop the onions into small (1/4 – 1/2″) squares. Chop the spinach as well, into fork sized pieces. I frequently use the pre-chopped frozen stuff, but I’m lazy that way.
Remove the casing from the Italian sausage, and brown thoroughly in a large sauce pan, chopping as you go. Add the ground turkey, and brown that as well. Lift from the pan with a slotted spoon, and set aside in a bowl, leaving the juice in the pan.
Add the onions to the pan, and cook until they are translucent and golden. Add the spinach, and continue sauteing until they are thoroughly wilted and well mixed with the onions. Remove to a bowl and set aside, leaving juice and even some onions and spinach in the pan.
Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste to the pan, and bring to a simmer. Add garlic and italian seasoning. Leave sauce at a low simmer.
Mix cheeses, other than what is reserved for the garnish, in a bowl with the white pepper. Stir them together thoroughly.
You now have three bowls of stuff, and a simmering pot of sauce.
Preheat oven to 375°
Spoon a generous amount of sauce into the bottom of the pan– enough to easily cover the bottom. Add a layer of noodles. You will need at least three layers of noodles. In my pan, I do three layers of three, and have three left over.
Spoon 1/2 or 1/3 (depending on if you want 3 or 4 layer lasagna) of the meat mixture over the noodles. Spoon 1/2 or 1/3 of the veggies, and then 1/2 or 1/3 of the cheese. Add another layer of noodles.
Repeat all of that: meat, veggies, cheese, noodles one or two times more, ending with noodles on top.
Pour the remaining sauce over the layers. You may have too much to fit in the pan; if so it will be a lovely pasta sauce for another time. Enjoy the leftovers!
Add the garnish cheese on top of the sauce, and add the garnishing Italian seasoning on top of that.
Bake for about 45 minutes, until the cheese is brown and the sauce is bubbly. I put an old baking sheet on the shelf below the pan, because that’s easier to clean than the bottom of my oven. 😉