Christmas Eve Lasagna has been a part of my Christmas traditions for many years. The tradition of having lasagna on Christmas Eve started many years ago with a family that will always be very dear to me. Every year we would attend Christmas Eve service and then head home to eat lasagna and watch some classic movie like The Godfather. While my life has changed significantly since those days, it has always been such a precious memory for me and I decided last year to start it back for my family except I have traded the Stouffer’s brand for a little more homemade dish and instead of The Godfather we get to watch the oh-so-entertaining Rudolph or some other 3-year old appropriate show.
Life here on Earth is ever-changing, but the beauty of the Christmas Spirit is that it brings you back to a place of love and compassion and understanding. You know why? Because it is centered around the birth of God’s precious son…….a love that was born on a cold, winter’s day that knows no beginning and no end. Most importantly, it is an unconditional love for all the people who believe in Him. While we may not be able to be with all of the those we love in our life either from death, distance or some other circumstance, Christmas allows us to be with them in the Spirit.
All that being said, the tradition of Christmas Eve lasagna is now a part of my life again and I cherish it for all the memories that it has from my past and for all the memories to come of this tradition for my family. Merry Christmas to all of those that I love and cherish for all of my life.
- 8 lasagna noodles, cooked per directions
- 24 ounces Homemade Red Wine Sauce
- 15 oz Sorrento Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded low moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Kosher salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 pound lean ground turkey
- 1/2 pound lean turkey Italian sausage, removed from casings
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28oz) jar stewed tomatoes (I used a jar from Howell Farms from the Nashville Farmer's Market)
- 1 cup full-bodied red wine (e.g. Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon)
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (can use dried just use 1/3 amount)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped (can use dried just use 1/3 amount)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped (can use dried just use 1/3 amount)
- Kosher salt & pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, garlic salt and onion powder. Stir until combined. Cook noodles per instructions on box.
- In a greased 8x8 dish, pour about 1/4 cup in bottom of dish to cover and reserve 1/4 cup of sauce in s separate dish. Cut noodles to fit for one layer of noodles. Spread ricotta mixture over noodles. Pour 1/2 of remaining sauce over ricotta. Layer another layer of noodles over sauce. Repeat ricotta and red sauce. Layer final layer of noodles over sauce. Top with reserved 1/4 cup sauce. Top sauce with mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees F for 1 hour. Remove foil and cook 10 more minutes uncovered or until cheese is bubbling. Let stand 5 or 10 minutes before serving.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat, brown ground turkey and Italian sausage. Set aside. Add a small amount of oil to the pan and saute garlic and onion until tender. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and wine. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Using a potato masher or fork, slightly mash large chunks of tomato until smooth.
- Reduce heat to low and add ground turkey, sausage and fresh herbs. Simmer for 1 hour.