Friday, October 12, 2012

Turkey Lasagna with Ricotta, Mushrooms & Spinach

One of the ultimate comfort foods, this light, creamy and über cheesy Turkey Lasagna with Ricotta, Mushrooms & Spinach is a luscious lower fat version of the classic Italian favourite. Extra lean ground turkey keeps things light, but seasoning it with sweet Italian sausage and crushed fennel seeds gives this dish a boost of extra flavour. The addition of fresh spinach, cremini mushrooms and a generous blend of four cheeses — creamy ricotta, mozzarella cheese, tangy goat cheese and piquant Parmigiano-Reggiano — all topped with a hearty Marinara sauce, makes this a rich and satisfying lasagna. Layers of delicious turkey meat sauce, creamy cheeses and tender pasta topped with a layer of golden melted cheese, is comfort food at its best.

Turkey Lasagna with Ricotta, Mushrooms & Spinach
Serves 6-8

Recipe and photo courtesy of 'get-me-cooking'

2 tbsp olive oil
1lb lean ground turkey
1/2 lb sweet Italian turkey sausages, casings removed
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
2 cups fresh baby spinach, washed and trimmed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 cups fresh mozzarella, grated
4 oz goat cheese
2 cups ricotta
5 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
1 large egg, slightly beaten
16 plain, whole wheat or spinach no-boil lasagna noodles
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

In a large skillet, add olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and sauté until translucent. Add the ground turkey, turkey sausage, mushrooms, spinach, oregano, crushed fennel seeds, salt and pepper and cook until the meat is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Once cooked, set the turkey mixture aside and turn off the heat.

 In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1/2 cup of Parmesan, egg, 1 tablespoon of parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Ladle a layer of marinara along the bottom of a 9x12-inch rectangle baking dish. Add a single layer of lasagna noodles overtop, overlapping the pasta sheets slightly, so the lasagna will not fall apart when served. Layer a thin layer of ricotta over the pasta sheets, then sprinkle a single layer of the turkey meat. Layer a quarter of the mozzarella over the turkey meat, then repeat starting with the marinara sauce, the noodles and so forth until your baking dish is full. Layer the last bit of parmesan cheese on top so it creates a crust for the top of the lasagna.

Put aluminum foil over the top of the baking dish and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Serve warm with an extra dollop of marinara sauce on top right before serving with the parsley to decorate.

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