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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cheesy Turkey, Leek, Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

For most people, 3-days after Thanksgiving is about the time they can't imagine eating another bite of turkey. They clearly have not tried my white lasagna with oozing, cheesy buttermilk sauce and fresh pasta filled with layers of leeks, mushrooms, spinach and turkey.

The cheesy, garlicky buttermilk sauce is not my healthiest sauce ever, but man is it good. The perfect backdrop to the turkey and leek filling.

One bite and the last thing on your mind will be turkey leftovers - trust me! Even if you purchase the lasagna sheets rather than make the pasta from scratch, this lasagna will have everyone begging for more Fat and Happy leftovers.

Fat and Happy Blog Tips and Techniques: Both left over turkey or chicken taste wonderful in this white lasagna. My lasagna pan is 7 1/2 x 11, adjust as needed to fit your pan.

Turkey Leek Lasagna with a White Buttermilk Sauce

Cheesy, Garlic Buttermilk Sauce

1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
Olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Tbls garlic powder
1 Tbls onion powder
1 tsp fresh black pepper
3 Tbls flour
1/2 cup broth (or water)
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup cream or half and half
12 oz  grated white cheddar
2 oz grated Havarti
2 oz grated Parmesan

Turkey, Leek, Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna filling:

2 Leeks
Olive oil
8 medium sized Mushrooms, sliced
1 cup chopped, cooked turkey
3 cups spinach, washed
1/2 tsp salt 
1 tsp pepper
sage 10 leaves and parsley
1/2 cup white wine

8-12 lasagna sheets
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

If you are making the pasta from scratch, begin the pasta first and then let it rest while you make the buttermilk sauce and the filling. Bring a large pot with water to a boil, add in good teaspoon of salt. Add one or two of the pasta sheets at a time, carefully remove when cooked and lay out on a sheet pan until ready to use. Lay a piece of wax paper between the sheets to keep them from sticking together.

Garlic Buttermilk Sauce: Saute the onions in a drizzle of olive oil until the onions are completely soft. Add in the minced garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, flour and pepper, cooking just a few minutes to soften the garlic. This will be quite paste-like at this point. Slowly whisk in the broth, then the buttermilk and half and half. Let this simmer on the lowest heat while you make the filling.The sauce will thicken. Then remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the cheese. The heat of the milk will melt the cheese. Set aside until ready to use.

Turkey, Leek and Mushroom Filling: Clean and cut the leeks into about 2 inch pieces. Cook the leeks in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil until they begin to become tender and brown slightly on the edges, about 5 minutes. Add in the sliced mushrooms, continuing to cook until the mushrooms begin to release their juices, about another 5 minutes. Add in the turkey, wine, salt and pepper, simmer for about 5 minutes and add in the spinach, sage and parsley. Remove from heat, toss well and set aside until ready to use. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed, keeping in mind the cheese in the sauce will offer saltiness too.

Putting it all together: Add a small scoop of lasagna to the bottom of a pan. Top with a layer of pasta, then cover with the buttermilk sauce, then a thin layer of the turkey leek filling and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Repeat until all the filling is used up. Make one final layer of the pasta and a final layer of the buttermilk sauce on top. (Depending on the size of the pan you use, you might have a little sauce left over, around 1/2 to 3/4's of a cup. Save for another use.) Cover with a good sprinkling of the shredded cheese, fresh black pepper and pine nuts.

Cover the pan with foil, bake for about 30 minutes then uncover and bake for about another 30 or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 15 minutes.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of chopped parsley and  a crusty bread.

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