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Lasagna With Turkey Sausage Serve lasagna in the summer? You bet! Tender noodles sandwich layers of flavorful tomato-turkey sauce and creamy three-cheese blend. Fresh herbs and mozzarella add a bright flavor and a classic texture. Just add a crisp green salad and a glass of wine and you have a perfect summer meal.

Lasagna with Turkey Sausage
Ina Garten

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in tomato purée
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound lasagna noodles
15 ounces ricotta cheese
3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. 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.

3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

4. Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink.

5. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1½ teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

6. Meanwhile fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.

7. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

8. 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 pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one third of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce.

9. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

Yields: 8 servings

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I used 2 pounds of turkey sausage and 1 pound of ground turkey meat for a heartier sauce.

2. I also added half of a jar of spaghetti sauce that I had in the refrigerator.

3. I purchased a chub of pre-sliced fresh mozzarella. In order to distribute it more evenly, I sliced each round in half (half-moons).

4. I put my 9 by 13-inch baking pan on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet before putting it in the oven. I’m glad I did, because the bubbling lasagna overflowed.

5. To aid preparation, the sauce can be made the night before serving and reheated a bit before layering the lasagna the following day.

Enjoy!

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ravioli casserole

Looking for something tasty and hearty to take to a holiday potluck? Well, consider yourself “potlucky” that you found this recipe! Like a lasagne, this casserole has layers of meaty tomato sauce and shredded cheese, but magnificent rows of cooked raviolis replace the lasagne noodles. My two guest taste-testers gave this casserole a two-thumbs up and even took some home as party favors.

Lisa’s Ravioli Casserole
From Paul & Phil’s Potluck Cookbook

Ingredients:
9 oz. fresh or frozen raviolis
1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
Salt, garlic, ground black pepper, and Italian seasoning, to taste
1 – 26 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce
2 cups shredded cheese (mixture of mozzarella, Romano and Parmesan)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Boil 8 quarts of water and cook raviolis according to package instructions. Drain them.

3. While raviolis are cooking, brown hamburger with the spices. Drain fat from meat. Stir in spaghetti sauce and set aside.

4. Spray a large casserole with nonstick spray. Layer meat sauce in the bottom of the dish. Place a few raviolis on top of the sauce. Put another layer of sauce on top of the raviolis. Sprinkle a layer of cheese on next. Continue to layer the ingredients with final layer being cheese.

5. Bake for 45 minutes or until the cheese is slightly browned and bubbly.

Serves 4-8

Linnell’s Notes:
1. This recipe creates a good casserole. Nothing exotic, though. The great thing about this recipe is its adaptability. The next time I prepare this casserole, I will use more interesting tasting ravioli (I used cheese ravioli the first go-round) and add some sweet Italian sausage to the ground beef mixture for more depth of flavor. Chopped spinach (defrosted and squeezed dry), chopped mushrooms, diced green peppers, chopped onions, and a can of diced tomatoes would also enhance the flavor of this recipe. Oh, and maybe a little wine, too . . . .

2. I doubled the recipe and it fit nicely in a 9 by 13-inch pan.

3. Instead of placing “a few raviolis on top of the sauce” as the recipe states, I layered the  raviolis in rows to cover the sauce (approximately 4 raviolis across and 6 raviolis long). This way every person is guaranteed to get his share of ravioli!

Enjoy!

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