- 1 pound mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound ground turkey
- 1/4 pound fresh turkey or chicken Italian-style
- 4 cans (each 15 ounces) tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 9 lasagna noodles (about 7 ounces)
- 2 tubs (each 15 ounces) ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
Before you start, be sure an adult is nearby to help.
Hold a box grater-shredder on a plate with one hand. Holding the mozzarella cheese in your other hand, rub the cheese over the large shredding holes of the box grater-shredder.
Cook the meat
Ask an adult to help you now. Put the olive oil in a large sauté pan and set it over medium heat. Add the ground turkey. Using a wooden spoon, break up any large chunks. Squeeze the sausages from their casings. Add the sausage meat to the sauté pan.
Using the wooden spoon, keep pushing the ground turkey and the sausage around in the pan until they are no longer pink. This will take about 5 minutes.
Simmer the sauce
Add the tomato sauce to the pan and stir to coat the meat. Heat the mixture until small bubbles start to form in the tomato sauce; this is called a simmer. Simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Cook the pasta
Fill a large pot three-fourths full with water. Place over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. When the water is boiling, add the salt. Drop in the noodles, then push them down into the water with a long-handled wooden fork. Boil the noodles, stirring occasionally, until they are flexible but still a little chewy, 7 to 8 minutes, or according to the instructions on the package of noodles.
Make the filling
While the pasta is cooking, you'll have time to make the cheese filling: In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and 2/3 cup of the Parmesan cheese.
One at a time, crack the eggs into a small bowl and check for shells. Then pour the eggs into the bowl with the cheeses. Using a wooden spoon, beat until smooth.
Set a colander in the sink. Ask an adult to help you pour the noodles into the colander. Rinse with cold water and drain again.
Start to layer
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Put a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish on the counter in front of you. Arrange the tomato sauce, drained lasagna noodles, ricotta mixture, mozzarella cheese and the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese next to you.
Use a rubber spatula to spread 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Lay 3 lasagna noodles, side by side, over the sauce. Spread half of the ricotta over the noodles. Top with one-third of the mozzarella. Spread 2 cups tomato sauce over the cheese.
Repeat the layering, adding 3 more noodles, the rest of the ricotta, half of the remaining mozzarella cheese and another 2 cups tomato sauce on top. Top with the final 3 noodles, the remaining 2 cups tomato sauce and the rest of the mozzarella cheese.
Sprinkle the finished lasagna with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.
Bake, cool and serve
Put the baking dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Ask an adult to help you remove the foil. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is lightly golden and the lasagna is bubbling around the edges, about 30 minutes more.
Ask an adult to help you take the dish out of the oven. Set the lasagna on a wire cooling rack and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Using a metal spatula, cut down through the pasta layers to make 8 or 10 squares. Lift each square onto a plate to serve. Serves 8 to 10.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Fun Food, by Stephanie Rosenbaum (Simon & Schuster, 2006).