Saturday, November 12, 2011

Turkey Sausage Lasagna with Bechamel Sauce

Sausage Lasagna with Bechamel Sauce
First, I want to disclose that I've never actually made my own sausage before. A friend of mine bragged that she made her own turkey sausage thus, throwing down the gauntlet. I knew I had to make some, also! 

I was surprised by how easy the process was. 

Turkey Sausage
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed, crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

I added about 1/2 cup of finely diced apples. Mix all of this together, then roll it in wax paper. I froze it without cooking it for later use. Rummaging through my freezer, I re-discovered it and wanted to use it... but for what? The idea for Lasagna started tip-toeing around my head!

I love Lasagna. Tomato or Marinara Sauce doesn't love me so much. One of my favorite twitter people @onlinepastrychf (Jenni Field) suggested I use Bechamel Sauce. Well, THAT peaked my curiosity because it sounded oh, so Italian, and oh so exotic. Thank you SO much, Jenni! I now have a new FAVORITE recipe!

I found a recipe on by Mario Batali that was wonderful!

Bechamel Sauce
5 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • Directions
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.
  • Follow these directions to a *T* and it is wonderful! 

  • Next, preheat the oven to 325. YES, 325. 

  • For my Lasagna, I browned some onion and garlic in a little olive oil, and added my turkey sausage. I also added fresh sliced mushrooms, a bit of Italian Seasoning, a pinch of fresh Thyme, a tiny bit of fresh Rosemary, and a little white wine. I let this simmer while preparing the glass baking dish - starting with fresh spinach spread out, topped with grated Italian cheese blend cheese. Lay the Lasagna noodle across this and top with Ricotta Cheese. Make sure you mix an egg in with your Ricotta. 

  • Now the sausage is ready to be added to the mix. Sprinkle it generously over the Ricotta. Add more grated cheese, and drizzle some of the Bechamel sauce over this. Layer one more time with Lasagna noodles. And repeat the layer starting with fresh spinach, Ricotta cheese, and the sausage mix. Then, empty the remaining Bechamel sauce over all of it. I topped this with more shredded cheese, and then decorated it with black olives (optional)

  • Bake this for 45 minutes @325. Remove it from the oven and add more grated Italian blend cheese. Increase the oven temperature to 350, and bake it for 20 minutes longer. Remove and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. 

  • As always, be prepared to receive a myriad of fabulous compliments! Happy Eating!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad it worked out well! And I'm very impressed that you made your own sausage! :)