Lasagna with Turkey Sausage Bolognese

This has to be my absolute favorite freezer meal. The lasagna tastes just as good from the microwave weeks later after it is made. Not to mention it has just 508 calories per serving! This is a nearly impossible feat for any lasagna style dish. There is no sacrifice in flavor here either. I am typing this post while my bolognese simmers on the stove and it smells insanely good. It really is easy to make this delicious sauce. I am sure one day I will tackle making my own pasta noodles, but for now I use the oven ready lasagna. It works out beautifully if you do one simple trick. Soak the noodles in water for just 30 minutes prior to assembling the lasagna. Do not leave them soaking too long or they will get too soggy. If you are going to freeze this dish, you can freeze the entire pain. I recommend cooking the lasagna and packaging individual portions in plastic freezer bags or tupperware.

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Use spicy or regular italian turkey sausage in this depending on your preferences. I have had trouble finding the spicy sausage so I use regular and add crushed red pepper flakes. If the day of your dinner party is going to be busy, definitely make your bolognese and cheese mixture ahead of time and store them in the fridge. In these photographs from today I use two separate lasagna pans (so that one pan could be delivered to a friend). The directions below however are made for one large pan. You could use one 13×9 pan or two separate pans depending on what kind of pans you have. I almost always use dry white wine in the recipe. I have used red wine before when it was all I had. I don’t think there was much difference in flavor. I think dry white wine complements this dish well when serving. But something about bolognese begs for red wine. Serve this with McManis Pinot Noir, a reasonably priced pinot that does not disappoint.

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Lasagna with Turkey Sausage Bolognese
Serve 8

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup diced carrot
1 pound Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine
5 cups crushed tomatoes with purée (two 28 oz cans, not drained)
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 (15 oz) container part skim ricotta
4 cups grated 2% milk mozzarella cheese (2 x 8 oz packages)
1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese (approx 4 oz)
16 no boil lasagna noodles
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add in the onions and carrots. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook one minute. Mix in the turkey sausage. Sauté over medium heat until the sausage is cooked through, about 12 minutes. Add in the wine and boil for 1 minute. Mix in the crushed tomatoes, basil, and oregano. Bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a light simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.

In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta, 3 cups mozzarella, 1 cup grated parmesan cheese. Season with a few turns of the pepper grinder. Cover and keep in the fridge until ready for assembly.

In a large bowl filled with hot water, soak the noodles for 30 minutes. Make sure to separate them a few times so they do not stick together.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread 1 cup of sauce over the bottom of your 13×9 inch pan. Arrange 4 noodles crosswise. Use your hands to spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the noodles. Cover with 1 cup of sauce and then 4 more noodles. (I mash the cheese and sauce flat with the noodles as I go.) Repeat two more times. Spread any remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup parmesan and 1 cup mozzarella.

Bake the lasagna uncovered for 50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Let stand for 15 minutes prior to serving.

Adapted from Bon Appetit.

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