I’m going to let everyone in on a little secret, I don’t really like pasta.
When I think about pasta dishes I feel a bit let down. Usually they’re a little bland, oily and overpriced at restaurants. I mean I love a good cream sauce every once in a while, but in general I don’t like tomato sauces, so I don’t usually order/make any pasta dishes.
When I think about lasagna I feel a bit overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time. Pasta, ricotta, sauce. Pasta, ricotta, sauce. Pasta, ricotta, sauce. Rinse and repeat. That’s a whole lot of semi-special ingredients going on right there, everything just blends together on the palate. And it’s so messy to serve!
So when it came to me making lasagna, I knew that I wanted to keep it simple but with big tastes.
I’ve given myself a little challenge this month of being Vegan (more on that later), but we had a very non-vegan guest in the house this week, so I went ahead and did this up two ways. I found this really easy to thrown together, and it pleased everyone in the house.
Deconstructed Lasagna a la Sarah
1/2 lb ground turkey
1 box dried lasagna noodles
2 boxes sliced mushrooms
1/2 large sweet yellow onion, sliced
1 lg bunch spinach
1 tomato, diced (your favorite type, Roma would be good)
2 cups white wine (again, your favorite type)
Shredded Parmesan Reggiano cheese
dried Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and about 1 1/2 tlbs minced garlic in a large skillet for about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and onion and add a generous amount of salt and pepper. Saute a bit until the mushroom start to turn a “wet” brown color, about 5 minutes.
In a separate pan heat some olive oil to cook the turkey in. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil and Italian seasoning. Cook till done, about 10 minutes.
Once the mushrooms have goldened up, start making your pasta per the box, breaking your large strips of lasagna into smaller, bit sized pieces. (I broke each strip into about 5-6 pieces.) Once drained coat with some olive oil so the noodles don’t stick to each other.
Pour your wine into the mushroom/onion pan and salt and pepper generously again. Cover and allow to simmer over medium heat till liquid is about 1/2 reduced. You’ll want to stir everything around a couple of times to make sure “everyone is in the pool.” This usually takes about 5-8 minutes. Once the liquid has reduced, take the top off the pan and turn the heat up so the rest of the wine can cook off. Salt and pepper again (trust me).
Throw the spinach in another pan (OMG dishes) with some olive oil, salt and minced garlic. Toss to coat and then cover over medium heat. Stir occasionally, the idea is to get the spinach warm and a little wilted.
Once all extra liquid is out of your mushroom/onion pan, you want to let them start browning up a bit, meaning that you want to let the wine/salt/pepper make a delicious crust on the outside of them. Maybe add more salt and pepper. (Whatever, don’t judge me I’m vegan, what else do I have!) This may freak you out a bit, but act like you are letting the mushrooms burn a bit. I’d recommend flipping them around every 90 seconds or so. You’ll know they’re done when they are orange (seriously), and the smell of them makes you want to faint.
For Vegan Construction-
Toss mushrooms/onions and spinach in with the pasta. You may want to add some more olive oil/salt depending on your own preferences for taste and texture.
For Meat Friendly Construction-
Toss turkey, mushrooms/onions and spinach with pasta. Top with diced tomato and cheese.