Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Spinach Artichoke Turkey Lasagna

This past Sunday we had a lot of time on our hands and I wanted to make sure that Joe had a lot of food for the week before I hit the road.  The plan was to make lasagna earlier in the week, but it never really happened because it is quite a time consuming process.  So, Sunday was the perfect time!  The nice thing about lasagna is that you can assemble it and set it in the fridge for quite some time before having to bake it.  While making brownies for Joe, I assembled the lasagna since he was out and about getting the cars washed and running some errands.  So, we may have had an early dinner, but this was seriously one of the best lasagnas I have made.  I mean who doesn't love spinach artichoke!  You get so many vegetables in your lasagna and putting ground turkey in the recipe made it flavorful but not overwhelming with meat!  So, here we go with one of my favorite recipes that will be repeated (once Joe gets over having to eat it all week because I left to travel in the wonderful state of Texas).

Spinach Artichoke Turkey Lasanga

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup diced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz ground turkey (or chicken!)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
2 (14 ounce) cans (or frozen) artichoke hearts, well-drained
2 cups ricotta Cheese
2 1/2 cups fresh shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
2 bags of frozen spinach
1 pound lasagna noodles, preferably fresh or whole wheat
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
dash of nutmeg
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
coarse salt and fresh black pepper

  1. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, turkey/chicken, Italian seasoning and season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook, stirring often until turkey/chicken is cooked through. Cut the artichokes in half and then in half again, dry off any moisture with paper towels. Stir them into the turkey/chicken and cook 2 - 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the ricotta, 1 + 1/2 cups of the mozzarella, the egg and parsley.
  4. Make stacks out of the spinach leaves and cut them into thin strips (chiffonade). Mix them into the ricotta mixture - it will be thick.
  5. Make the sauce:
  6. In a large, heavy duty saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook 3 - 4 minutes, whisking often. Slowly whisk in milk, turn heat up and bring to a simmer.
  7. Maintain a simmer for 4 minutes, stirring often. Turn heat down to low and stir in nutmeg, Parmesan cheese and a pinch or two each of salt and pepper, continue stirring until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
  8. If using dried noodles cook according to package directions.
  9. Assemble the lasagna:
  10. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch casserole pan.
  11. Add a very thin layer of sauce over bottom of the pan, then a layer of noodles covering the bottom completely from edge to edge. Spread 1/2 the ricotta mixture evenly from edge to edge then top with 1/3 of the turkey/chicken mixture followed by 1/3 of the sauce.
  12. Cover the filling with another layer of noodles followed with the remaining 1/2 of ricotta, 1/3 of the chicken/turkey and 1/3 of the sauce.
  13. Cover with another layer of noodles followed by the remaining sauce, the remaining chicken/turkey mixture and the 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
  14. Bake 45 - 50 minutes until bubbly and hot in the middle. If the top starts to get too brown tent with aluminum foil. Allow to set 5 - 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.
Spinach Artichoke Turkey Lasagna!

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