Monday, December 1, 2008

Turkey Parmigiana Lasagna

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Turkey... and lots of it. What to do, what to do?! I wanted to be somewhat creative and because I couldn't decide what to do, I ended up with Turkey Parmigiana Lasagna.

To start, I prepared my version of Turkey Parmigiana but dredging cooked turkey breast slices in a bit of flour, dipped in egg wash and then in italian seasoned breadcrumbs. Once I baked them and saw them finished on my baking sheet, I took a look and didn't feel like having them as is. That's when I thought of chopping them up and throwing them into a lasagna! Looking back, I think its kinda silly I went a whole roundabout way to prepare this, but the end result was wonderful. The crispness of the original coating was flavorful and still shined through despite the layers of cheese, pasta and sauce. To prepare my lasagna, I adapted Ina's recipe with the original recipe notes in red:

Turkey Parmigiana Lasagna
courtesy of Ina Garten:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
4 garlic cloves, minced (2 garlic cloves)
1 1/2 pounds breaded cooked turkey breasts (sweet Italian turkey sausage)
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
4 frozen fresh basil cubes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
1/2 pound no boil lasagna noodles (Ina used cooked noodles)
15 ounces ricotta cheese
I omitted the goat cheese (3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled)
1 cup grated Romano (Parmesan), plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
2 eggs lightly beaten (1 extra-large egg)
1 pound fresh mozzarella, shredded (thinly sliced)

Preheat the oven to350 degrees F. (Ina heated hers up 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 tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, the basil cubes, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, 1 cup of Romano, the eggs, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. 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 no boil pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one 1/3 of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Romano. Bake for 45 minutes uncovered, until the sauce is bubbling. Remove from oven and top with additional mozzarella cheese and bake until cheese is melted.

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