my first lasagna?

I don't really have lasagna all that often ... but I would label it one of my favorite comfort foods. Sure, there are many on that list ... but lasagna makes it.

Lasagna has some of the qualities that I love in my favorite recipes. Cheese, pasta ... and versatility. Lasagna is a great base and permits the chef to pretty much do whatever they want. Up until my second year of b-school, I think I'd only had "traditional" lasagna and primarily made by my Aunt Wynn. But one day my friend Meghan invited me over for dinner. And while barely even thinking, she whipped up an artichoke lasagna that rocked my socks off.

With that memory in my head and a can of artichokes in my cabinet, I elected to tryout a combo of ground turkey and artichoke. Some quick googling didn't reveal any other previously documented renditions of this combo ... which made me a bit nervous but not enough to stop. So, I invited my sister over and labeled it and "experimental lasagna" in the event of a disaster.

Spoiler alert: No diaster. Only second helpings.
Here's how it goes...

(Step 1) In a skillet over medium high heat, sauté the onion with a bit of olive oil. Normal starter stuff here folks. After the onions have begun to soften, add in the minced garlic.

(Step 2) Add the ground turkey to the skillet and break up the meat in a reasonable sizes. Cook until the meat begins to brown. It doesn't need to be perfect since the meat will cook a bit more in the oven.

(Step 3) Roughly chop up the drained artichokes and add to the meat mixture.

(Step 4) In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, marjoram, egg, salt, and pepper.

(Step 5) Now that you have your two fillings (meat and cheese), it's time to assemble the lasagna. I lightly greased my pan a bit but it isn't really required.

(Step 6) In the bottom on your pan, spread out about a 1/2-3/4 cup of sauce. Some recipes suggested more than others but my rule of thumb would be to have a thin layer of sauce. Use your judgement.

(Step 7) Now comes the layers. This doesn't really matter  but think 2 layers of meat and the rest is a bunch of cheese and sauce. Doing your best, use the pasta to create a complete layer in the pan. Cover with a healthy dose of the ricotta mixture. Then layer on some mozzarella. Then more pasta - but this time do the pasta in the opposite direction. Then maybe some more ricotta and sauce... and now some of the meat mixture. Then pasta. And just keep going until you get to the top of the pan .. or you get tired. Use your judgement


(Step 8) Bake at 375 F for 45 minutes or so. Essentially, use the top layer of cheese as a barometer for when the baby is done. See all that cheese there? It's going to be an amazing perfectly crunchy topping.


Shopping List
1 lb ground turkey
1 large onion diced, or about 1 diced cup
3 minced cloves of garlic
1 can of artichokes
1 container (15 oz) ricotta
2 tsp marjoram
1 egg
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
2 balls of mozzarella (or about 2 cups shredded?)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 box of pre cooked lasagna noodles

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