Sunday, May 16, 2010

Labor of Love

We love lasagna. It's our best friend, our brotha, our boo. It's not only warm, delicious and also yields an insane amount of leftovers. And we LOVE leftovers. So as Erin gracefully gears up for entry into motherhood (sometime in the next few weeks), we think it behooves us to make a few things that could be frozen and at the ready when the last thing she feels like doing is hovering over a stove. Now, I've never met the Erin who doesn't feel like cooking...but just in case a new version of her should rear its head, we chose this lasagna from Barefoot Contessa to help warm her heart and her stomach during what will surely be among the greatest days of her life.

We made a few changes to justify the ridonculous amount of cheese, substituting ground turkey for Italian sausage and brown rice noodles for regular...

We used De Boles and although we're sure a picky palate may not agree, we didn't notice much difference. We also added fresh grilled veggies because, well, they make us slaphappy...

Oh and if you're wondering why we are once again cooking outside, we don't have an answer. But we are seeking professional help.

Turkey and Veggie Lasagna

2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for veggies
1 eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 yellow squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 lbs. organic ground turkey
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes in tomato purée
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb. brown rice lasagna noodles
15 oz. ricotta cheese
3 to 4 oz. creamy goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup grated parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
1 lb. shredded mozzarella (or fresh)

Heat the grill. Brush both sides of the veggies with olive oil. Grill over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Plate and set aside. (You will most likely have extra veggies, so save to throw in a salad later.)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the ground turkey and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 Tbsp. of the parsley, the basil, 1 1/2 tsp. of the salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 Tbsp.of parsley, remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. (Instead of layering the ricotta mix with the mozz, we combined them to create one layer of cheese...not because we're creative, but cuz we don't know how to read.) Set aside.

Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the cheese and one 1/3 of the sauce. Next, layer in the veggies, overlapping where needed.

Add the rest of the pasta, cheese and finally, sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling. Let stand for about 15 minutes before serving. If you're as stubborn as we are, screw that noise and cut right into that boo. It won't be as pretty, but it will still blow your mind. Serve with a light salad...

...and freeze the rest, if you can part with it.

Please share any dishes that we could prepare ahead of time for Mama Tart:)


  1. It's mouth-watering! YUM YUM!!!!

  2. I haven't made lasagna in so long. This would be perfect right now. I have to find those gluten-free noodles, there the only gluten-free pasta I haven't tried.

  3. woohoo! gluten free! and hey i'm doing a play with your good friend Cate! WTF?!

  4. Fabulous!!! I have eyed those gluten free noodles for quite a while, guess they are a GO!! :)

  5. This looks absolutely amazing! And gluten free too! I love lasagna with lots of fresh veggies. PERFECT for freezing and pulling out when you're feeling lazy.... Or you know, having a baby!


  6. How can you go wring with pasta and cheese? This looks sooo good! I should really throw some in my freezer for busy nights!

  7. You guys are having soooo much fun:)

  8. ok, you guys are a hoot. i am so excited to come across this blog!

    and this is one of my favorite lasagnas...but i love how you adapted it. grilled veg is a great addition!

  9. oooh that looks so good. really! i bet the grilled veggies make it extra amazing.
    xox alison

  10. "a few changes" & substituting ingredients - that's what I do to turn meals vegetarian and then lasagna is my favorite hangover food.

  11. OMG...That looks so good:) Yummmm...Thanks so much for sharing:)
    Ps: Great blog!

  12. Thanks for all of your lovely comments...

    Christine - Not sure what stores are near you, but if you can't find the noodles, you can buy them here... They have tons of great pastas so you could just stock up in one shopping spree:)

    Figs and Feathers - That's so crazy you're doing a play with Cate! I plan on coming to see it, so we can finally meet:) Have fun!

  13. Yumm! I am hungry. Thanks for sharing will try these soon
    Keep in touch

  14. This sounds absolutely delicious! Good luck Erin on the coming birth! :)

  15. Just found your site and will be bookmarking it! Such wonderful and yummy recipes!

  16. Mmmmm lasagna is my favorite, and yes it is a lot of work!! So worth it though!

    Art by Karena

  17. That is SO much more interesting than the plain old ground beef and pepper version that I made the other day!

  18. I've tried De Boles pasta and it's fantastic. Your lasagna loos fantastic too.