Derived from the Greek laganon and subsequently embraced in Italian culture and cooking, lasagne has long been a scrumptious, hearty dish that is as versatile as it is filling. I have spent many years making, baking and taste-testing recipes until finally arriving at what I believe to be the perfect ratio of noodle:cheese:sauce:ease.
Even my husband–a notoriously particular pasta eater–will devour a wedge of my quick ‘n’ easy take on this classic. Not too heavy, greasy or saucy, this lasagne is the perfect Sunday dinner when paired with our Family Salad and some crusty bread. Just don’t be surprised if the half-pan you thought you had for leftovers magically vanishes in the night. Hmm…
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2 lbs ground turkey, (90/10) – could also sub lean ground beef or even good quality, Italian sausage. Or combination thereof.
- 1-1/2 large jars (roughly 50 oz total) of meatless pasta sauce (I usually go for a garden veggie-type)
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced (I buy a big jar of the pre-minced kind and it’s super easy)
- 1 box oven-ready lasagne noodles
- 2 large eggs
- 1-15 oz. container of ricotta cheese
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1/4 cup red cooking wine (or a little from your glass of dry, red wine 🍷😁)
- In a large skillet, sauté onions and garlic in the EVOO until tender and fragrant.
- Add turkey and cook until browned. Season with salt and pepper while cooking.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350°.
- After browning your turkey, add the 1-1/2 jars of sauce and simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Tip: Use the lid for less tomato splatter!
- While meat + sauce simmer together, prep the cheese filling. In a medium mixing bowl, dump ricotta and eggs together; mix well. Add the parsley, 2-1/2 cups mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly cracked pepper and oregano. Mix until everything is well incorporated.
- In a 9×13″ casserole dish, begin layering lasagne:
- First, spoon a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan to cover it,
- Then place 3 oven-ready noodles on top. (I can usually fit two noodle sheets next to each other and then have to break up the third one up to fit the pan. You can really use any size baking dish as long as its deep enough.)
- Third, add two heaping spoonfuls of the cheese mixture on each noodle and spread using the back of the spoon until the entire layer is covered.
- Repeat this process two or three more times. To finish the lasagne assembly, top the last noodle layer with the final dregs of sauce, then cover with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
- Pour the wine all the way around the edges of the pan. This is essential for moisture and flavor! Do NOT overfill the pan, as this causes major spills in the oven when the lasagne starts bubbling over, and you’ll rip all of your cheese off if the foil sticks. (And it will stick. 😭)
- Cover pan with tin foil, ensuring the cheese is not touching the foil, and bake on the middle rack for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, remove foil and place lasagne under broiler for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is brown and bubbly. (We do not like weak-looking lasagne, with barely melted, watery cheese on top. No sir.)
- Remove the lasagne and let it rest on some hot mitts or a trivet for about 10 minutes… if your fam bam will wait that long!
If, by some miracle, your family can exercise some control over their consumption, this lasagne tastes great for about a week when stored in a plastic container and refrigerated.