What’s the only thing better than a cookbook by an awesome chef? A notebook by an awesome chef like Harold Dieterle. The Top Chef season 1 winner and chef-owner of popular NYC restaurants Kin Shop and Perilla just launched Harold Dieterle’s Kitchen Notebook, a collection of recipes influenced by Italian, Thai and German cuisine and we’ve never been more excited to see all three cultures in one delicious place. Here, he gives us his spin on classic lasagna.
I cooked up this crazy-sounding lasagna for Thanksgiving dinner one year, combining the same three meats used in the famous (or notorious, depending on your taste) turducken in a pasta sauce, then making lasagna with it. The sauce eats like a rich, slightly gamy Bolognese, with the ricotta providing smooth, creamy relief. Although it sounds revolutionary, other than the choice of meats, it’s actually a very traditional lasagna; I even use my grandmother’s method of “rinsing” the tomato cans into the sauce.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces ground turkey (any parts)
- 8 ounces ground duck (any parts)
- 8 ounces ground chicken (any parts)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large Spanish onion, minced
- 10 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon crushed red-pepper flakes
- 1 28-ounce can plus 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 28-ounce can plus 1 15-ounce can tomato puree
- Leaves from one bunch of basil
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 pound provolone cheese, grated
- 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
- 3 1-pound boxes no-boil lasagna noodles
- 3 pounds fresh ricotta (preferably homemade)
To make the sauce
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the ground turkey, duck, and chicken and season with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring, until the meat is lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate.
- Add the onion, garlic, fennel, and red-pepper flakes to the pan and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Return the meat to the pan and stir in the crushed tomatoes and tomato puree.
- Rinse the tomato cans by adding about ¼ cup water to each, swishing it around, and stirring the tomato-tinged water into the sauce. Season with salt and black pepper, bring to a simmer, and continue to simmer for 40 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil. The sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
To make and serve the lasagna
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Put the mozzarella, provolone, and pecorino in a bowl and fold them together. Ladle one-quarter of the sauce into the bottom of a large lasagna pan, roughly 14 by 10 by 6 inches. Top with a layer of noodles, arranging them side by side and cutting them as necessary to fit neatly into the pan. Spread about one-quarter of the ricotta over the noodles, then about one-quarter of the mozzarella mixture. Repeat, starting with the sauce, three more times, and finish with the mozzarella mixture.
- Grind black pepper over the lasagna, cover with aluminum foil, and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly and you can pierce to the center of the lasagna easily with a paring knife, about 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil and return to the oven to bake until the cheese starts to brown, about 5 more minutes. Remove the lasagna from the oven and set aside to rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
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