Recipe: Thanksgiving lasagna from High Five Girl


How about combining your turkey with some zippy Italian flavors this year? Photo: Zahra Tangorra

How about combining your turkey with some zippy Italian flavors this year? Photo: Zahra Tangorra


High Five Girl, the restaurant consulting group and soon to launch feminist food blog, from Brucie alums Zahra Tangorra, Jennie Lupo and Nicole Bailey, shared their recipe for turkey lasagna with us. Mix it up this year and serve it on Thursday, or make it with leftover turkey on Friday.

“If you are looking for something wacky, but not too wacky to do with your turkey this year we have some real zippy Italian-American vibes to throw your way,” the High Fivers wrote.

You’ll need to prepare three separate recipes, then assemble the lasagna from those, plus a few more things (detailed below) including lasagna noodles or pasta sheets and Fontina cheese.

Component recipes:

Turkey Ragu

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, sliced
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, sliced
3 carrots, finely chopped
1 cup of cranberries
1 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sage, finely chopped
5 cups dark turkey meat or 2 pounds of ground turkey
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken/turkey stock
1-2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

  1. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add leek, celery and carrot. Cook until vegetables begin to soften. Stir often to prevent sticking.
  2. Add garlic, rosemary and sage. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Continue stirring.
  3. Add turkey meat. Cook for 2-4 minutes. Allow the turkey to brown, continue to stir occasionally to avoid burning.
  4. Add cranberries, white wine, stock and sugar. Stir together and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low, cover and let simmer for 1 hour.
  5. Remove cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Add butter. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let cool for 1 hour or up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Squash Puree

3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch slices
3 cups water
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
teaspoon ground allspice
teaspoon ground clove
teaspoon ground cinnamon Salt to taste

  1. Add squash and water to a stock pot. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook until squash is tender. Drain squash in a colander.
  2. Add squash, ¼ whole milk, ¼ cup of heavy cream, maple syrup, butter, allspice, clove and cinnamon to a food processor and puree. Add additional whole milk and heavy cream as needed. Add salt as needed. Puree should be creamy but not watery. You are looking for the texture of mashed potatoes.

Creamed Spinach

3 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
2 pounds baby spinach
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan or stock pot. Once butter is almost completely melted, add flour and stir continuously until you have a light golden brown roux.
  2. Slowly add whole milk, whisking as you add it.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer. Stir continuously until it reaches a boil and thickens. Once it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, add your spinach.
  4. Simmer for 30-40 minutes. Allow the water to cook out of the spinach and the cream to reduce.
  5. Add grated nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Additional ingredients

16 sheets of fresh lasagna or 1 pound of dry lasagna sheets cooked
2 cups grated pecorino or Parmigiano
1 pound sliced fontina cheese

Assembling the lasagna

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spoon a layer of creamed spinach along the bottom of a 9 x 12 inch lasagna pan. Cover with a layer of noodles.
  3. Spoon a layer of squash puree over the noodles.
  4. Salt each layer of lasagna as you build it.
  5. Add a layer of noodles. Top the noodles with a layer of turkey ragu, sliced fontina and pecorino.
  6. Add a layer of noodles. Top the noodles with creamed spinach.
  7. Repeat until you are satisfied with your number of layers!
  8. Finish your lasagna with a top layer of creamed spinach and cheese. Cover with saran wrap and then aluminum foil. The saran wrap will keep the top layer from sticking to the aluminum foil.
  9. Bake for 30-40 minutes covered.
  10. Uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until top is bubbly, and slightly golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 additional minutes.
  11. Serve with a generous amount of grated Parmigiano and a healthy dose of olive oil on top

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)