Combine fluctuating energy levels with the wintery mix of rain and darkness that’s descended upon the Pacific Northwest, and there’s only one option for dinner: comfort food.
And when it comes to this category, I’d argue that there’s not much that can compare to lasagna. It’s a one-dish meal that’s not only filling, but also extremely leftover-friendly.
This version also happens to be pretty pregnancy-friendly, as well. A solid square serves up an impressive amount of vitamins A and C, calcium, iron and folate, all of which help with the growth and health of cells and tissues in the body (i.e. baby development!).
So whether you’re building a human this season or simply in search of a more nutrient-packed twist on the traditional family favorite, this recipe is well worth a try.
Butternut Ragu Lasagna
(recipe adapted from Full Belly: Good Eats for a Healthy Pregnancy)
For the Ragu:
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 oz ground turkey (I used 1 lb)
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (I used garlic paste)
- 1 small bunch Swiss chard, cut into 1/-2-in pieces (I used 1 bag cut kale)
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4-in cubes (I used 2 lb squash already peeled and cut)
- 4 large fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped (from about 4 sprigs)
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper (about 20 grinds)
For the Lasagna:
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 16 oz ricotta
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used a Parmesan/Romano blend)
- 1.5 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided (I used 2 cups)
- 4 large fresh sage leaves, minced
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1/8 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
- 12 oz no-boil lasagna noodles (I used 8 oz; this may vary according to pan size)
- For the ragu, heat oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepot over medium-high heat. Add turkey and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to break it up, until it’s no longer pink and just beginning to brown.
- Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring once or twice. Drizzle 1/4 cup water into pan and scrape any brown bits from bottom. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
- Add chard and squash, stirring to incorporate all of the ingredients. Cover pot partially and let cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring once, or until chard wilts to half of it’s original volume and squash starts to soften slightly.
- Add the sage, thyme, tomatoes, salt and pepper, stir well, and then reduce heat to low. Simmer ragu uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once the ragu is done, you’re ready to work on the lasagna! Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine egg, ricotta, Parmesan, 1 cup of the mozzarella, sage, thyme and black pepper in a large mixing bowl.
- Put one heaping scoop of ragu at the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish. Set a single layer of noodles in the saucy bottom the pan. Drop several dollops of the ricotta mixture over the noodles (don’t worry about spreading; it’ll melt). Pour a heaping scoop of ragu over this layer and use back of ladle to spread it around.
- Repeat the layers — noodles, ricotta, ragu — until you reach nearly the top of the dish, ending with noodles. Top the last layer of noodles with the remaining ragu (no ricotta mixture) and the remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake for 40-50 minutes or until noodles are tender. If you’d like the top layer of cheese to be a bit browned, remove the foil during the last 10 minutes of baking.
- Let the lasagna sit for about 10 minutes before cutting into pieces and serving.