Sunday, February 14, 2010

Planning Ahead: Sunday Lasagna

This will be a busy-ish week for me, and those are the weeks I tend to have cheese and crackers for dinner at least once. That wouldn't be so terrible, but since I try to take last night's leftovers for lunch the next day, it leaves me in a lunchtime quandary. Making dinner on Sunday makes it easy to reheat something on what would have been a cheese and cracker night.

Lasagna is perfect for planning ahead, since it's one of the foods that almost always tastes better the next day. This recipe is a fun one, too, since it's very easily modified to what you have on hand or what you want your lasagna to become. This time around, mushrooms and spinach combine with turkey and pork to yield a hot, bubbly pan of yumminess.

Since I'm cooking this ahead, once the pan cooled down a little, I covered it with foil and put it in the fridge. If you're going any more than two or three days in advance, I recommend saran wrap AND foil and putting the pan in the freezer. Defrost it in the fridge during the day and reheat it that night. Half an hour at 350 should do it. Just remember to take the saran wrap off before you reheat it.

Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna
This will easily fill a 9x13 pan. I usually put three lasagna noodles on each layer. That would mean 9 noodles; I call for ten because that give me some leeway to drop a noodle on the floor or otherwise render a noodle unusable.

10 lasagna noodles
2 T olive oil
1/2 lb ground turkey
1/2 lb ground pork
2 1/2 cup(s) sliced crimini mushrooms
1/2 c diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup wine
1 bunch spinach, carefully cleaned
1 can(s) crushed tomatoes
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried italian seasoning
1 pinch salt
1 t ground pepper
1/2 t cinnamon
8 oz ricotta cheese
8 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Boil water in a large pot. Add a pinch of salt once the water is boiling and cook the noodles in the boiling water until not quite al dente, about 6-7 minutes. Drain; return the noodles to the pot, cover with cool water, and set aside.
  3. Add olive oil to a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey and pork and cook, crumbling with a spatula, until browned, about 7 minutes. Remove the turkey/pork mixture from the pan and set aside.
  4. Return the pan to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and stir in onions and mushrooms. Cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the wine the spinach to the pan, stirring occasionally. Cook until the spinach is wilted.
  5. Add crushed tomatoes, turkey/pork mixture, oregano, italian seasoning, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Simmer 15 minutes on medium-low heat.
  6. To assemble the lasagna, spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top. Place about 3/4 cup tomato mixture over the noodles. Continue with another layer of noodles, half the remaining tomato mixture, the remaining ricotta, and half the remaining mozzarella. Top with a third layer of noodles, the remaining tomatoes, and the last of the mozzarella.
  7. Bake until bubbly and browned, about an hour. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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