If I had to choose my favorite type of pasta, it would have to be some type of baked pasta dish, and lasagna has always been my go to dish when I am craving pasta. There is nothing as satisfying as taking a bubbling hot, lightly browned, cheesy casserole out of the oven for dinner. I recently made a roasted tomato béchamel sauce for a cauliflower dish, and as soon as I tasted the sauce I kept thinking that it would be perfect to use to layer between tender lasagna sheets. I also decided to include some browned turkey to my sauce to create a heartier pasta dish that would be perfect as a main course entree.
I must admit that I am a bit of a lasagna noodle snob and will only use fresh pasta sheets. If you do not want to take the time to making your own fresh pasta, feel free to use your favorite dried lasagna noodles. If you’d like to try making fresh egg lasagna noodles, My Step by Step Lasagna Tutorial will help. I do encourage you to make fresh lasagna noodles as it really makes a difference.
I find that lasagna often tastes even better the second day after being reheated. To reheat leftovers, cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 325 degree F. oven until warmed throughout.
Deborah Mele 2017
Lasagna With Creamy Roasted Tomato Turkey Ragu
For The Roasted Tomatoes:
- 1 Package Ripe Campari Tomatoes (About 8 3-inch Tomatoes)
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
For The Béchamel:
- 5 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 Cup All-purpose Flour
- 4 Cups Whole Milk
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
For The Lasagna:
- 1 Pound Ground Turkey
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1/2 Teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
- 3 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
- 1 Recipe Homemade Lasagna Noodles or 1 Pound Dried Lasagna Noodles Cooked “Al Dente”
- Preheat oven to 450 Degrees F.
- Toss the tomatoes with the olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet, and roast until the skins are blistered and begin to blacken, about 15 minutes.
- To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat, and once it is completely melted and bubbling, add the flour and mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Cook for a minute or two until the flour just begins to take on some color.
- Slowly start adding the milk, whisking continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
- Continue to simmer until the sauce begins to thicken, stirring often, about 10 minutes.
- Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Place the tomatoes and béchamel sauce in a blender along with the grated parmesan cheese and blend until creamy smooth.
- Return the sauce to the pot and keep warm.
- In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then cook the turkey meat until it is lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
- Season wth the oregano and chili flakes.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the turkey meat and add it to the sauce.
- Reduce the oven heat to 375 degrees F.
- Ladle some sauce into a 13 x 9 inch oven-proof casserole dish and spread t over the bottom.
- Arrange pasta sheets side by side, covering the bottom of the baking dish.
- Spoon some sauce to cover the noodles, and sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella.
- Continue making layers of the noodles, sauce and mozzarella, reserving some sauce to cover the final layer of noodles.
- Sprinkle the top of the lasagna with the remaining Grated Parmesan.
- Cover the lasagna dish with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned.
- Let sit 10 minutes, then cut and serve.