Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday Recipe - Spicy Turkey Veggie Lasagna

So I went to my local farmer's market on Friday, and I'm trying to decide what I should make for my Sunday-eat-it-all-week meal. The past couple weeks I've had eggplant parm, american chop suey, and a baba ganoush (eggplant) pasta, so it's been pretty eggplant heavy. But then, eggplant are in season, and since I'm trying to be as much a locavore as I can, there you have it.

As a side note on the locavore-ness (which I will go into more in depth at some later date), I try to get veggies that are as local as possible. Now, not being a true locavore, I'll eat veggies from California in the winter. I do my best not to eat international veggies. At this time of year, if something's from the midwest I'll think twice, since I should be able to get it at least in the Northeast, if not locally. Last week, my plan was to make cauliflower leek soup, since I'd seen leeks at the farmer's market. Until I get to the farm stand where I normally shop and the leeks were from Guatemala. Whatwhat?! </end slightly related but mostly tangential discussion>

Anyway, this lasagna recipe has never come out as true lasagna. Meaning, that I've never been able to cook it, cool itand, and pull it in squares out of the tray so that it doesn't fall into big pieces of lasagna goulash (so, no, it doesn't look anything like the photo appended here...). But it still tastes yum-yum-yummy! And if anyone has any tips on how to get it so it'll serve in squares, I'd greatly appreciate it! I think one thing is to have more layers of pasta. I usually start with that bottom layer of pasta, then get so excited about layering everything else, that I get to the top sprinkle of cheese and realize I've forgotten to layer more pasta. Whoops.


Spicy Turkey Veggie Lasagna

(Quantities listed below are suggestions, add more or less of whatever as you wish)

Tomato sauce - use the same tomato sauce as the eggplant parm, and crumble up two large portabello caps into the sauce

3 Jalapeno turkey sausages (outer casing peeled off and meat crumbled into pieces_
Eggplant (either one medium eggplant, or if you get distracted by weird things like me, you could get one small white eggplant and three long thin light purple ones)
2 Leeks (next time, I think I'd actually use more, maybe 3 or 4)
Lasagna pasta (dry)
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese (to sprinkle)

Ricotta layer:
30oz Ricotta cheese (or, if the containers at your store, like mine, come in 32oz, that's perfectly fine)
Spinach (however much you want - if you're using frozen, get about 20oz. If fresh, anywhere from .5-1lb, cleaned and chopped up)
4 Eggs
C Parmesan
1/2 Cream (I forgot to get this ingredient, and it didn't suffer for it)
t Red pepper flakes

1. Make the tomato sauce and set to simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Try not to taunt the cat too badly when you use a can opener on the tomatoes - she will assume you have something yummy like tuna even if you let her smell the can to show her it's really tomatoes. Oh, whoops, she likes tomatoes...

2. Cut the eggplant into thin strips (it's fine to keep the skin on, unless you feel strongly about removing it). Don't cut the strips too thin, because trust me, it's easy to either slice a finger, or end up with paper thin eggplant that just almost isn't even worth spending the time grilling. Place eggplant in a bowl, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill (or saute) until tender.

3. Cut off green and stringy parts of the leeks. Slice lengthwise, grill or saute until soft. Separate layers.

4. Saute crumbled turkey sausage until slightly browned.

5. Put chopped spinach in a large bowl with ricotta, eggs, parmesan, cream (optional) and pepper. Maybe some oregano too, now that I think of it. Mix together.

6. With a large casserole dish (and you may need a second smaller one too), put a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish. Layer dry pasta, sauce, turkey, leeks, ricotta mixture, sauce, pasta, sauce, eggplant, ricotta, sauce, sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Or at least, that's how I would've layered it if I'd remembered that second layer of pasta. Feel free to get creative and layer it however your heart desires.

7. Bake in the oven at 375 until sauce is bubbly, then bake a little more until it looks cooked (I was watching the Olympics, ok? I didn't time it...). Probably 45-60 minutes. If you're using glass casserole dishes, definitely don't preheat the oven, unless you want the glass the crack and leak your lovely creation all over your over and cause your fire alarm to screech loudly. If you've got porcelain or whatever other kind of casserole dish, you're good to go with preheating.

8. Take out of oven. Let cool.

This recipe made me probably about 12-15 servings, if not more. I haven't quite figured out what a serving is yet.


Leah J. Utas said...

Hmmmm you've given me an idea. Thanks.
This sounds really yummy, but I don't have any turkey sausages and I have to use Spelt or the like for pasta.

The Lethological Gourmet said...

Leah, turkey sausage is completely optional. You could use any meat you want, or go entirely meatless, perhaps add a different vegetable entirely in its place (peppers?). What's spelt? Not sure I've ever used that...

Leah J. Utas said...

Spelt is a variety of wheat. I have gluten intolerance so regular wheat and white flour are mostly out of the question for me. I can get away with a bit here and there, but for the most part I have to use other flours. Spelt is darned tasty and can be used like wheat although its lower gluten content often has to be made up with xanthan or guar gum.

Charlotte said...

Anything with the name "spicy" in the title is my kind of meal! I think I'd sub spinach for the meat but eggplant would be good too.

The Lethological Gourmet said...

Squash might be good in it too...or more onions, or maybe even broccoli!

I'll have to try spelt at some point. I think I tried spelt once, and that bread lasted for weeks and weeks and didn't mold!

MizFit said...

given this creation I dont think Id know what a serving was either.

(a fork and a pan?)

I must get off my arse and create.

thanks again for all the info yesterday.