Go Obama! That’s what I said as I prepared this dish for dinner on election night. Instead of going out to a loud watch party in D.C. to buy appetizers and $12 to $15 drinks, I went to a friend’s house and made a home cooked meal for the two of us as we watched the electoral counts roll in for Obama.
This recipe is based off of my mom’s lasagna recipe which she usually makes with ground beef. Trying something different, I substituted the ground beef with 75% lean ground turkey. I also added sliced baby portabella mushrooms for a change in flavor and texture.
I don’t normally make lasagna, so it was good practice to put this dish together. After I decided on the ingredients for my layer filling, I just assumed that I had an appropriate baking dish for lasagna. However, when I looked at my largest Pyrex, an 8″ x 11.5″ baking dish, it seemed a little too small and shallow for three layers of lasagna. So before I rushed out to buy a new baking dish, I did some research .
Choosing a baking dish for lasagna isn’t complicated of course, but here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Shape: A square shape is the easiest to work with, but not necessary. Oval dishes are on the market as well.
- Depth: Use a dish that’s at least 2 inches deep, but 2.5 to 3 inches deep is better. There are also some deep dish lasagna pans available (3″ – 5″ deep).
- Material: Use glass or ceramic rather than uncoated metal pans. Acidic tomato-based sauces can react with metallic pans and negatively affect the flavor of food as well as discolor pans.
One other tip to keep in mind, make sure you use enough sauce (the amount specified in the recipe should do it) so that the lasagna doesn’t dry out as you bake it.
Turkey Mushroom Lasagna
1/2 of a 16 oz box of lasagna pasta
(or 9 lasagna pieces for a 9″ x13″ dish)
1-1/2 pound of 75% or 85% lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1-1/2 tablespoon of salt
(1 tablespoon for boiling lasagna, 1/2 tablespoon for seasoning ground turkey)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
8 oz package fresh baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
Two 16 oz jars of tomato and basil pasta sauce
3 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
1-1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large stockpot full of water with 1 tbs salt to a boil. Add lasagna one by one. Boil until al dente (about 12 – 15 minutes). Remove pasta from water.
While pasta is boiling, combine ground turkey with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey and cook thoroughly, stirring occasionally, until pink color is gone (about 10 minutes). Set aside.
In a sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic and mushrooms and sauté for about 10 minutes.
Add first layer of lasagna in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Spoon a generous layer of pasta sauce over the pasta. Next, spoon over a layer of cooked ground turkey and sautéed mushrooms. Then, sprinkle a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese (1 cup) and grated parmesan cheese (1/4 cup). Repeat layering two more times adding more cheese to the final layer.
Bake layered lasagna dish for 30 – 35 minutes or until top layer of cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling around the edges of the dish. Serve.