Turkey Lasagna

This lasagna recipe skips the onerous step of boiling lasagna noodles. Layer uncooked ones in the hearty turkey ragu and they will emerge from the oven fork-tender under their bubbling blanket of cheese.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 40 min (includes resting time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

2 pounds ground turkey

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup tomato paste

One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes 

One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

1 tablespoon dried oregano

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1 pound mozzarella, grated (about 4 cups)

3/4 cup grated Parmesan

One 32-ounce container ricotta

1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped

1 large egg, lightly beaten

12 lasagna noodles (not no-boil; about 12 ounces)

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to become translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the turkey and garlic and continue to cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to combine and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes to the saucepan. Add the whole peeled tomatoes, crushing them with you hand as you pour them in. Stir in the oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened, about 30 minutes; remove the lid for the last 5 minutes of cooking.  
  3. Meanwhile, set aside 1 cup of the mozzarella and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan in a small bowl. Mix together the ricotta, parsley, egg, the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.  
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  5. Spread about 2 cups of the sauce in the bottom of a deep 9-by-13-inch broiler-proof baking dish (see Cook's Note). Place 3 uncooked lasagna noodles across the bottom of the dish lengthwise, leaving about 1/2 inch between each. Place a fourth noddle across the short side of the dish, breaking to fit as needed. Spread about 1 1/2 cups sauce on the noodles. Using an ice-cream scoop or a large spoon, dollop one-third of the cheese mixture evenly on top of the sauce. Arrange another layer of noodles the same as the first, pressing down gently to spread the cheese mixture. Repeat layering the sauce, cheese mixture and noodles two more times, ending with the noodles. On top of the last layer, spread the remaining sauce. 
  6. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and bake until the noodles are tender when you insert the tip of a paring knife, about 1 hour. Remove the foil from the baking dish and sprinkle with the reserved mozzarella and Parmesan. Increase the oven temperature to broil and broil the lasagna until the cheese is melted, golden and bubbling, 5 to 7 minutes. Let the lasagna sit for 30 minutes before serving.

Cook’s Note

If using a glass baking dish, instead of broiling at the end, increase the oven temperature to 450 F degrees and bake until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown.