No, really... I love lasagna. It's so amazing and delicious, I could eat it every day. Yet, I never seem to have the time to make it. I work 40+ hours a week, and for 9 months out of the year I'm a full time student, too. Lasagna is one of those dishes that feels like it takes all day to make, and at the end of the day, the hearty-rich flavors are the reward for a job well done.
Knowing I never have the time to do it properly, I looked for a way to adapt the homestyle lasagna I grew up with into something that I could enjoy for a mid-week dinner but also incorporate into a dinner party or entertaining occasion.
Here's what I came up with - a dish that gives a creative nod to Plum Deluxe's cool logo.
"Plum" Wheel Lasagna
Makes 4 servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 package ground turkey
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons each: dried parsley, thyme, sage, basil
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 small onion, diced
- 6 white mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2 bunch fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 8-ounce package pre-shredded mozzarella
- 1 package (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
- 9 lasagna pasta noodles
- 1 jar high-quality pasta sauce
Quick and easy, compared to lasagna from scratch! Here we go:
In a large pot, start your pasta water (at least 4 quarts) on high. Bring to a boil, add 3 tablespoons of salt.
While your water is coming to a boil, add olive oil, turkey, garlic, spices, and onion to a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté for about 5 minutes, breaking the turkey into small bits as you go. Add chopped mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. When everything is cooked through, add fresh spinach and let cook. Remove from heat when spinach has wilted and incorporated, then place in a bowl and let cool enough to handle. Add ricotta and mix thoroughly.
When your water comes to a rolling boil, add each pasta noodle separately, ensuring it doesn't stick to the previous one. Once all noodles have been added, boil for 8 minutes. Remove and lay each noodle on a lightly oiled cookie sheet (so they don't stick).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In an 9x17 baking dish, add half the pasta sauce to the bottom, coating completely.
Add a 1/4 cup of the ricotta/meat mixture to the center of the lasagna noodle and roll end-to-end into pinwheels (see end of page for photo).
Place in the baking dish, final-seam-side down. Do this for all noodles.
Cover pinwheels with half of the shredded cheese, then top with the remaining pasta sauce, and finally the remainder of the cheese.
Bake in your over for 40-45 minutes.
Sure, it takes an hour to make, but it beats standing in the kitchen all day long.