Ask kids why they love lasagna so much, and they'll probably say "the stretchy cheese!" What they may not realize is that lasagna is easy and fun to make. Try preparing this updated version of the dish, with its quickly made meat sauce and convenient no-boil noodles at home with your kids.
Source: Martha Stewart Kids, Fall
Work time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes<br><br>
1 pound ground turkey
1 1/2 pounds mozzarella, (5 cups grated)
1 can (26 ounces) chopped tomatoes
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, (casings removed)
1 1/4 cups ricotta
1 pound no-boil lasagna noodles
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
4 ounces Parmesan, (1 cup grated)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 medium chopped onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 sprig basil, (3 tablespoons coarsely chopped)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crush the garlic; grate the cheeses. An adult should chop the onion.
Wash the basil and pick the leaves; let an adult chop the leaves.
An adult should make the sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook onion, garlic, salt, and pepper 1 minute. Add turkey and sausage; cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and oregano. Reduce heat; simmer 1 minute. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in basil.
Coat baking dish with cooking spray or oil; spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the dish.
Top with a layer of noodles. Next, spread a third of the ricotta, then 1 1/2 cups sauce, on top. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella and 3 tablespoons Parmesan. Repeat these steps 2 more times.
Top with a layer of noodles, the remaining sauce, and mozzarella; sprinkle with 3 tablespoons Parmesan (save the rest for sprinkling over servings). Cover with foil; bake 20 minutes. An adult should remove foil; bake 20 minutes more. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting and serving. VEGETABLE VARIATION: This vegetarian version of our sauce makes a hearty and delicious lasagna. Clean and trim 8 ounces button mushrooms; finely chop in a food processor. Follow the recipe, but in step 3, cook onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add mushrooms, 1 cup diced zucchini, and 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper instead of turkey and sausage; cook, stirring, until just tender, about 6 minutes. After simmering with the tomatoes and oregano, stir in 4 cups chopped spinach along with the basil. Then kids can follow steps 4 through 6 to assemble the dish.