I was trying to think of something new to make with a friend of mine, but nothing was coming to mind. While at work, moowie suggested I try making a lasagna, and fortunately I took her up on that idea. This lasagna came out wonderfully, and will definitely be made again next time I'm in need of a large dish to serve.
Recipe - Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis' Everyday Italian, Episode EI1A10 "All About Lasagna"
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 pound ground turkey, browned and drained
salt and pepper
22.5 ounces ricotta cheese (1 1/2 [15-ounce] containers)
3 large eggs
1 pound lasagna sheets, al dente
20 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
3 cups shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup fresh shredded Parmesan
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Melt 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a small pot over medium-high heat. Once completely melted, add the flour and whisk to make the roux. Cook this a few minutes to remove the flour flavor. Slowly add the milk while whisking and turn down the heat to medium. Continue whisking until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and continue stirring over medium heat until nappe. Add salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat and set aside while you assemble the rest of the lasagna.
Place the ricotta cheese into a stand mixer with paddle attachment, add the eggs and stir until combined. Add a pinch each of salt and pepper.
Pour 2 cups of the mixed sauce into a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish, move it around to coat the bottom evenly. Place a layer of the lasagna sheets on top of the sauce, then cover with the ricotta mixture. Spread out evenly, then add the chopped spinach evenly on top. Cover with another layer of lasagna sheets, then spread the meats on top of this. Top the meats with 1 1/2 cups of mozarella, then pour another 2 cups of the mixed sauce on top. Cover with the final layer of lasagna sheets, top with the remaining mixed sauce. Mix the remaining mozzarella with the Paremesan and add this on top. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in microwave with 1 tablespoon water. Brush this along the edges of the baking dish, concentrating on the corners, to make sure it doesn't dry out while baking. Tent with foil and place into the oven with a baking sheet underneath. Bake 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbling, remove foil, and then bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes to let everything set up. Serve warm, yields 12 servings when accompanied by side dishes.
This keeps in the refrigerator, covered, for about a week. I've always found that pasta tends to be better the next day after all the flavors have been absorbed.