First of all, I would like to apologize for my recent absence. For my burfday/Memorial Day, I spent the long weekend up in the mountains of North Carolina with some friends.
Due to my inability to chop firewood, navigate a trail, or even successfully cook a s'more marshmallow without setting it on fire, I figured I could make myself useful by cooking dinner one night in my friend's fabulous mountain kitchen!
Thus, my Mountain Lasagna was born. You might consider this a "cooking for eight" recipe. It is an easy, basic lasagna recipe and is delicious! It also makes for a perfect hearty meal after a day of wrestling bears in the woods and climbing waterfalls.
- 9 lasagna noodles. Get the no-boil kind. They cook right in the sauce, thus saving you a step of labor.
- 1 big ole jar of pasta sauce. I got the kind from Costco with 2 lb. 13 oz. of sauce.
- 1 package ground turkey. This is usually equivalent to 1.3 lbs. You can also substitute ground beef if you'd like, but turkey has 1/3 of the calories, and the point is the texture rather than the beefy flavor.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2.5 cups low fat ricotta cheese
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- Olive oil
This is a fantastic dish for company because you can make it the night before and bake it before your guests arrive.
Or, if you truly are cooking for one and have no one in your life with whom to share this lasagna, you can freeze individual portions of it for your very own frozen dinners!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a large pot on medium high heat and put in your chopped onion and garlic. Cook and stir until the onion has softened.
Add your ground turkey and use a large wooden spoon or similar instrument to break it up into crumbles in the pot. Cook and stir until no pink remains.
Add all your pasta sauce and 1 tbsp. Italian Seasoning to the pot and let the mixture simmer while you move on to your next step.
Beat your eggs in a mixing bowl, and then add the ricotta cheese, half your parmesan, half your mozzarella, and the other 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning. Mix well.
Now it is time to assemble. Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish (or foil pan for easy clean-up) with cooking spray. Add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of the dish, then three of the lasagna noodes, and then about half of your ricotta mixture.
If you are sloppy at assembling, no worries, mon! All the ingredients will melt and mush together anyways, so do the best you can. Also, keep in mind the lasagna noodles will expand as they cook.
Add another layer of sauce, noodles, and the rest of the ricotta mixture. Then a layer of sauce, the last three noodles, and sauce again. Top the whole thing with the rest of your mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
Cover the lasagna with foil and pop in the oven for 45 minutes. Then remove the foil and let it bake for another 25 minutes.
TIP: You might want to put a cookie sheet under your lasagna dish in the oven just in case it bubbles over like mine did. Burnt sauce will be a bitch to clean out of your oven!
While the lasagna is baking, you can make side dishes (we had broccoli and garlic bread) and set the table for your mountain feast.
Bonus points if your mountain dishware includes images of copulating pheasants like ours did:
When the lasagna is done, let it cool for a few minutes and then serve. There is no way to do this neatly, but this is a rustic mountain dish, after all!