Cooking is like watching “Dr. Phil”: it’s fine if other people want to do it, and many people do for reasons unbeknownst to me, but don’t expect me to do it in MY house. Blessed with neither the talent nor the inclination to cook, I am the reason pizza delivery and microwave meals were invented. In fact, “Lean Cuisine” is Franglais for “Thank God Candy Doesn’t Have to Step Near an Oven.” True story.
Need a pitcher of sangria whipped up? I’m your woman. Need water boiled? Um… does that come pre-packaged in a Lean Cuisine box?
Part of my disinterest stems from laziness; I cannot understand investing two hours’ work in two minutes’ enjoyment. (Which, coincidentally, is how many men feel about foreplay.) I am also terrible at it, having poisoned both myself and Mr. Candy with undercooked chicken fettuccine on our third date. Oh yes, I did. Thankfully, Mr. Candy was able to see beyond my culinary shortcomings and love me for what really matters: my kick-ass sangria.
So imagine my surprise when, a few weeks ago, I heard the words “I’m going to make turkey lasagna!” come out of my mouth. Turkey lasagna! Of all things! I have no idea what possessed me to promise this. Neither did Mr. Candy, who immediately took my temperature and jolted me back to reality with two words: chicken fettuccine. I blame my temporary insanity on the kid, who’s stirred feelings of domesticity inside of me I didn’t know existed. Weird, unfamiliar feelings that make me say crazy things like, “I’m going to make turkey lasagna!” And, “Just a SMALL glass of wine, please!”
A week passed, and I successfully avoided any further thoughts of such ridiculousness. Until, one night over a freshly delivered Domino’s pizza, Mr. Candy admitted: “You know, I can’t stop thinking about that turkey lasagna you promised.”
WHAT? And, oh yeah, WHAT? Did he not remember the Chicken Fettuccine Incident that had us tag-teaming in and out of the bathroom, similar to our honeymoon in Mexico five years later? (Damn frozen margaritas!)
“Just sounded good, that’s all,” Mr. Candy shrugged sadly.
Crap. With that sad, puppy dog look, it was all over. I knew I had to make the damn lasagna. Well-played, Mr. Candy. Well-played, indeed.
Guess what, people?
Turns out, ovens CAN do more than hold shoes. Also:
WHOOMP! There it is: V-Day turkey lasagna! It was GOOD (Candy humbly notes). And I didn’t even burn down the house. Or poison us. I barely recognized myself, properly cooked pasta dish in hand… until I poured myself a NOT-so-small glass of wine. Phew! I’m still more Candy than Martha, after all.
* 1 tsp. olive oil
* 1 lb. ground turkey breast
* 2 cloves garlic, crushed (or a few dashes of garlic powder)
* 8-oz. can tomato sauce
* 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
* 12 oz. shredded low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese (or slightly less, if you want to cut down on calories)
* 12 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese (ditto)
* ¾ c. grated parmesan cheese (ditto)
* One package no-boil lasagna noodles (or boil noodles for 13-15 minutes… and do NOT splash yourself with the boiling water. Not that I, um, did that. *Ahem*)
1. Spray 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray; preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit (190° Celsius).
2. Pour big ol’ glass of wine.
3. Brown turkey with olive oil and garlic.
4. Drink wine.
5. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, salt/pepper, and seasoning.
6. Simmer 20 minutes.
7. Drink wine while waiting.
8. To assemble lasagna:
– add small amount of sauce to bottom of pan
– layer noodles to cover bottom of baking dish
– add some ricotta and mozzarella
– add tomato/meat sauce
– sprinkle with parmesan
– repeat with two more layers of noodles, ending with tomato/meat sauce and parmesan as top layer
9. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and cheese is melted.
10. Drink wine while waiting.
11. Remove from oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before cutting.
12. Toast your hard work with — you guessed it — more wine.
Makes: 9 servings | Supposed to be particularly good for pregnant or breastfeeding ladies