This recipe came about in an “emptying the fridge” kind of way. I don’t often make lasagna from scratch because it’s time-consuming, but I had fresh (expensive) lasagne sheets (noodles) made with free range eggs, staring at me every time I opened the fridge. So today we’re doing Turkey and Kale lasagne so of course you’ll need turkey mince (preferably not white meat which Coles supermarkets (in Australia) seem to stock, ie. get your turkey from Woolworths). And as always, with mince, please salt (and refrigerate) it a few hours before using it. Use ordinary table salt, not the flaky stuff which I reserve for plated meals. For the vegie folk out there, of course omit the turkey and maybe substitute with cannelini beans or boiled, marinated and chopped tempeh instead?
Feel free to make your own cheese sauce but my yoghurt bechamel includes flavours of garlic and lovely fresh basil. I use two kinds of pureed tomato sauces from jars (refer to the photo’s below) & I also use fresh basil and fresh parmesan (as opposed to the packet stuff). Dried basil won’t do (it will never do)..so just leave it out if you don’t have fresh. The red wine makes the turkey ragu rich and full of body which compliments the tangy-ness of the yoghurt bechamel.
I’ve been writing this blog post in “several goes”…as my laptop is failing me. Most of my internet browsing and social media stuff is done on my phone these days, but sometimes a small screen won’t do. I used an app. on my phone to do my photo’s this time (it’s called Photo Grid). Editing photo’s on Photo Grid gives you the perfect size for uploading to Instagram. If I try to upload to Instagram the old fashioned way (straight from my gallery), I have to cut out about half the image! Speaking of which, after several attempts to “get going” on Instagram over the last couple of years, I’m finally on it. For real. I used to struggle with the idea having an Instagram account because Foodie Wanderings is on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest already. Why another social media site? I found myself wanting to follow other people’s photo journey’s… so evidently, I’m committed now.
Now, does anyone else in Oz receive 50% off dining specials in their email from Eatability? I always open the emails but haven’t taken advantage of any deals until yesterday. I made a booking, so shortly we’ll get to try out the new Woods Bar & Kitchen in Windsor for half price! Simple menu but it seems right up my gastronomic alley. You make a booking via the link in your email and the restaurant knows when you arrive that you’re there for the 50% off deal. No coupons needed. No pre-purchasing vouchers. If you’ve eaten at Woods Bar & Kitchen or have taken advantage of 50% off dining…shoot me an email !
Turkey & Kale Lasagna with Yoghurt Bechamel
*Onions x 2, chopped
*Carrots x 2 (small), chopped
*Celery Sticks x 2, chopped
*Turkey mince x 350gm, salted with 1/3 teaspoon of table salt and left to ‘rest’ in the fridge at least 1-3 hours (or even overnight) before using
*Kale x 2 good handful’s, about 200grams, chopped
*Red Wine x 1/2 cup
*Rosemary x 1/2 teaspoon
*Chicken stock powder x 1 tablespoon
*Tomato passata x 700gm (I use Le Conserve Della Nonna Lampomodoro)
*Pasta sauce, tomato base x 350gm (I like Sacla Cherry Tomato & Parmesan, very rich)
*Garlic x 1 clove, minced (more needed for bechamel)
*Some splashes of water to ‘wilt’ vegies
Yoghurt Bechamel Sauce
*Whole (full fat) milk x 3 cups, room temperature or warm
*Plain yoghurt (eg. Greek style) x 1/2 cup
*Plain flour x 3 tablespoon’s
*Butter x 3 tablespoon’s
*Fresh basil x 1/2 cup, chopped
*Garlic x 1 clove, minced
*Fresh wedge of parmesan cheese, grated (about half a cup)
*Tasty cheese x 1 cup
*Splash of oil, to keep the butter from burning
-Fry onions, garlic and celery until softened a little, set aside in a large bowl.
-In a little oil, stir-fry chopped kale for about 5-6 minutes, then add garlic, stir well and then add a few splashes of water and cover the kale with either a large lid or some baking paper that’s been rinsed & ‘scrunched up’ under tap water. Allow kale to cook and soften for about 3 or 4 minutes, then add this to the carrot/onion/celery mixture.
-Fry turkey mince until it just changes colour, then add all of the tomato sauces and bring to a bubbling simmer.
-Add all of the semi-cooked vegies and rosemary, then stir well, cover again and simmer for 5 minutes.
-Make bechamel sauce by melting butter, adding oil and garlic (let garlic sizzle a few seconds first), then frying off flour for a minute while stirring and then add milk one cup at a time. Sauce will be thickening, so you need to continue stirring so it doesn’t get lumpy. Add the yoghurt last and when the sauce is hot and thick, remove from heat and add the cheeses and fresh basil. Stir a couple of times and allow the cheese to melt while you prepare your lasagne dish and preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius.
-Refer to blog photo of how I assembled the lasagne. Basically divide your meat mixture into three and your bechamel into two (even if you just do this mentally). Start with a layer of meat/kale on the base of your lasagne dish, then add a layer of fresh lasagne (sheets) noodles, then meat/kale again, then noodles, then bechamel and then noodles and then the last layer of meat/kale, followed by noodles and you finish it off with the final layer of bechamel sauce. I often sprinkle a little bit of water on the meat/kale layers to provide extra moisture for the pasta to cook. You’ll have four pasta layers in total. Sprinkle a small amount of (optional) cheeses on top –tasty and/or parmesan.
-Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes, the top should be brown and bubbly. Let rest for 20 minutes out of the oven, before cutting into squares and serving. Serve topped with fresh, whole basil leaves and a side salad: consider oak lettuce, freshly shaved fennel and orange or grapefruit segments in a honey mustard vinaigrette.
If I make something off the top of my head, I know I won’t remember what I’ve done or how I’ve done it once I’ve cooked the recipe. Details become sketchy. I sometimes make a point of writing stuff down just incase I want to blog the recipe. So here are my handwritten notes, even a diagram/template re: how I would use the 8 sheets of lasagne noodles. (Each layer required two fresh sheets – the layers are numbered in the photo above, if you want to follow my recipe exactly).