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As part of our "12 Days Of Thanksgiving" countdown, Rach created this Thanksgiving-inspired lasagna loaded with all your favorite Tday ingredients: turkey, butternut squash or pumpkin, cranberries and kale or spinach—layered with ricotta and parmesan and finished with a white sauce.
Rach's Tip: "You can of course use about 2 cups of store-bought butternut puree or 15 ounces cooked canned pumpkin," Rach says. "Just begin with shallots or onion and garlic in the method, add spices, half the stock and all the cream and warm to combine all with the pumpkin."
- 1 medium-large butternut squash or 1 small pumpkin, halved and seeds removed, sprayed with non-aerosol olive oil or brushed with oil
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- A pinch of allspice
- A pinch of ground cinnamon or smoked cinnamon
- About ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 large shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1 cup chicken broth or stock
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 pound/500 grams lasagna (flat-sheet dry pasta)
- ½ cup fresh cranberries
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 pound ground turkey, white and dark meat combined
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning (Rach likes Bell's Ground Poultry Seasoning)
- 1 cup turkey or chicken bone broth or stock
- ½ cup fresh herbs (such as parsley, sage, thyme and rosemary), finely chopped
- 3 cups ricotta
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 cup cooked kale or spinach, squeezed dry in kitchen towel and finely chopped
- White pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg, about ⅛ teaspoon
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- Salt and black or white pepper
- 1 cup turkey, chicken or vegetable broth or bone broth (Rach likes Brodo)
- 2 cups whole milk or half-n-half
- A little freshly grated nutmeg, about ⅛ teaspoon
- 2 cups freshly shredded mozzarella cheese (brick-style), large holes on grater
For the Spiced Butternut or Pumpkin Puree, preheat oven to 450˚F with rack at center. Season the squash with spices, salt and pepper and roast cut-side down to tender, about 30 minutes, then cool to handle and scoop out the flesh.
Heat a medium pot over medium heat, add EVOO and butter, then shallots or onion, garlic, season with salt, then soften 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup stock and reduce at a low boil by half, add butternut or pumpkin, puree with immersion blender, then add cream. Lower the oven to 400˚F for the lasagna.
For the lasagna noodles, heat a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Cook pasta 5 minutes and drain, then arrange between layers of kitchen towels or parchment, and covered with a towel to keep moist.
For the turkey layer, in a small pot, combine cranberries, water and sugar, boil and cook cranberries until they crack and sauce thickens, then remove from heat and cool.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, add turkey and brown and crumble it, add the onions and garlic, salt and pepper, and poultry seasoning, stir to soften, add broth, let it absorb, and cool to room temp. Stir the cranberries and chopped fresh herbs into the turkey mixture.
For the ricotta layer, mix together the ricotta, eggs, parm, kale or spinach, white pepper and nutmeg in a large bowl.
For the white sauce, in a saucepot, melt butter and whisk in flour, then add granulated garlic, salt and white pepper, and let it bubble. Add stock and milk or half-n-half and season with nutmeg, then let it thicken to coat spoon.
Layer the lasagna in a 9-by-13-inch casserole: half the sauce, pasta, half the squash puree, pasta, all the ricotta cheese, pasta, all of meat, pasta, remaining squash puree, remaining sauce and mozzarella. Cover with foil, bake 40 minutes, uncover and then brown 20 minutes. Let stand 20 minutes. Cut and serve. (I use 2 spatulas to shimmy the pieces out!)