Right now I am heading to California for a few days for work (and then play) and I decided to actually do something I think about doing whenever I travel.
I made B dinner for a few of the nights I will be gone. This is something I have wanted to do before, but as we all know, there is usually more on your list before a trip than can get done, and this one usually ends up getting cut.
Backing up, it not like B can’t feed himself and so I must provide dinner, I just always thought it would be a nice fun little gesture. Plus, to be honest, this way I know that at least a few meals weren’t delivered or poured from a cereal box.
I decided on lasagna, figuring it is something he can easily heat up and tastes good after more than one day. And thankfully (and unlike me), B doesn’t bore of the same flavors after a day or two, although I’m really hoping he doesn’t finish the pan. Maybe I should have rethought this idea.
Here’s is the thing though – I have never actually made lasagna to my recollection. Also, many of the ones I have eaten, I don’t really love. Some versions have too much ricotta, and those are out for sure. But I always think the traditional béchamel route needs a bit more umph. Plus, one teeny square of most lasagnas can really weigh you down. But I was not going to let these things stop me.
There were two things I knew I wanted in this adaptation – spinach and turkey. I wanted the spinach because I like it, but also (or maybe especially because) I figured this could be the only greens the dude eats for a week. And turkey, because I knew he would want meat, but considering the cheesesteaks and pepperoni and sausage pizza in his future, turkey would be the smart(er) way to go.
From there, I read a bunch of lasagna recipes. Alice Water’s Spinach Lasagna in The Art of Simple Food. Mario Batali’s lasagna in Molto Italiano. All the spinach lasagnas on epicurious. Elise’s lasagnas on Simply Recipes. Heidi Swanson’s Thousand Layer Lasagna (even though it wouldn’t quite work this time, I couldn’t help but reread it – I have been thinking of that one since she posted it years ago). You get the point.
So here is the thing. After all that, I don’t have a recipe for you. I did too many weird things to make it come together. After wilting the spinach and adding it to the ricotta, I decided I wanted more spinach, so I defrosted some frozen spinach and added it to the mix. And the turkey never really broke down like a good bolognese, so I gave it a (very) quick run in the blender. And I didn’t want a thick ricotta layer, but I wanted more than béchamel, so I added some milk to the ricotta to thin it out and act like a combo layer.
And, I’m not tasting it first.
So while I could guess that it is going to be delicious, and refigure the amounts to make sure it calls for the right amount of fresh (or frozen, but probably not combo) spinach, I’m not going to.
I figured instead I’d maybe inspire you to play nicey for someone.
Note: I realize this was made in the wrong kind of pan, but after I made all the parts, I realized that all pyrex is a friends from a dinner we did … oops. So here’s hoping it doesn’t cause too much of a problem.