RECIPE: Turkey Sausage and Spinach Lasagna


Sometimes eating healthy and clean needs to take a break. Sometimes you want to shove your face in a giant bowl of cheesy goodness and gluten heaven. That, my friends, calls for lasagna.

This lasagna recipe calls for making a quick sauce on the stove with some sausage. You can make this ahead of time and have it ready to go for assembling. I went with turkey sausage to TRY and keep it a little healthier. I also did a short cut with the spinach by buying a frozen bag of creamed spinach and cooking that up, then cooling it down before adding to the cheese mixture. It gave the spinach great flavor with very little labor (I secretly hate squeezing water out of chopped spinach). Also, find the no boil lasagna pasta at the store, which also cuts down on time.

My daughter, who is gluten free 70% of the year, had 3 helpings. Her tummy paid for it later, but she told me it was worth it.

Turkey Sausage and Spinach Lasagna

Ingredients

Sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
5 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
1 lb. fresh mild turkey Italian sausage
2 Tbsp. chopped basil
1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
2 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth

Filling
1 lb. part skim ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. dried parsley (or 2 Tbsp. fresh, chopped parsley)
1 10 oz. bag frozen creamed spinach, cooked according to package directions then cooled down a bit
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

Assemble

1 8-9 oz. box no boil lasagna noodles
12 oz. shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
olive oil spray for coating the foil

Directions

Preheat oven to 375˚.  Spray a 13 x 9 pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside.


  
Make the sauce:
In a large saucepan heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until beginning to sweat, then add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook until softened. Cut the sausage out of their casings and add to the pan. Cook until no longer pink, using the back of a spoon to break up and crumble the sausage. Deglaze the bottom of the pan with the chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spoon. Add the tomatoes and herbs and stir well. Season with salt and pepper, and cook the sauce over medium low heat for about 45 minutes. Set aside when done, but keep warm for assembling.





Now make the filling:
Mix the ricotta with the cooled cream of spinach and the beaten egg. Add the Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and parsley. Mix well.



Assemble:
Ladle a nice layer of sauce along the bottom of the pan. Add three layers of noodles on top. Noodles will expand when the cook.
Spoon and spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles. Next sprinkle 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese then ladle the sauce to cover. Add another layer of noodles. Then layer 1/3 ricotta, 1/3 mozzarella and sauce. One last time, layer noodles, last of the ricotta, the mozzarella and sauce. Then layer one final top of noodles. Ladle the sauce to cover, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and any extra mozzarella you have. Spray some tin foil down with olive oil and with the oil side down, cover the lasagna tightly.


Bake at the center of the oven for about 20 minutes. Uncover, turn the lasagna and cook for another 30 minutes. Let lasagna rest for 15 minutes before cutting. Serve hot.

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