Lasagna with Pesto Bechamel and Turkey Bolognese

"A light and lively pasta dish which my twin sister and I who share a passion for cooking developed. It takes a bit of prep work but is well worth the effort. Leftovers if there are any can be very successfully frozen. We developed this recipe using a basic lasagna recipe taught to us by our old family friend from Bologna and lightened it up a bit and added a bit of zip."
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Ready In:
2hrs 45mins




  • Bolognese Pasta Sauce: In food processor or blender, puree onion, celery, carrot, and garlic.
  • Cover bottom of heavy saucepan with olive oil, saute veggies in hot oil approximately 15 min.
  • Add turkey and saute until done; season with S&P.
  • Pour in white wine and deglaze until wine evaporates; pour in can of paste and stir in 4 cans of water.
  • Add fresh parsley and simmer partially covered until thickened, approximately 1 hour.
  • Pesto: Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  • Set aside.
  • Bechamel: Melt butter in small saucepan, stir in flour and cook 5 minutes until mixture just starts to color.
  • Pour in milk, S&P, and stir until thickened, approximately 10 minutes.
  • Stir 1 cup pesto sauce into Bechamel.
  • Assemble lasagna: (the secret is to apply thin layers of sauce), in a baking dish approximately 11 X 13 place: 1st layer: Bolognese sauce, 2nd layer: lasagna sheets, 3rd layer: Bechamel/pesto sauce, 4th layer: Bolognese sauce, 5th layer: parmesan cheese, Repeat layers 2 through 5 until baking pan is filled.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 50 to 60 minutes covered with aluminum foil.
  • NOTES: An option would be to layer with spinach, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, or any single or combination of vegetables along with the Bolognese meat sauce or a simple marinara sauce.

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  1. Okay, I cooked this a second time recently and noticed a lot of errors! I am not sure why they didn't occur to me before? Rather than one STALK of celery I used two branches, and rather than one stalk of carrot I used 2 med sized carrots. I used one 4 ounce can of tomato paste (and 4 cans of water). I also used Mascato for the wine, and it was surprisingly good! Now, for some reason, the amount made was not sufficient for several layers of lasagna... so I put the bolognese on the bottom, then uncooked layers of lasagna noodles, followed by the bechamel/pesto and cheese, topped with more noodles and finished off with some Prego on top. The end result was AMAZING! Four stars only because of the amounts. Thanks for your dedication in the kitchen and creating such a delicious recipe!


We have recently moved for the winter to West Palm Beach, renting as we've not as yet decided where we want to settle down. I've been spending summers recently in East Hampton, NY, and for the last two years the winters in a little village in Provence with my husband. Two years ago we ended our 10 year journey aboard our sailboat, L'EQUIPE, which started in Connecticut October, 1990, and ended in Singapore in October, 2000. We were fortunate to be able to retire early, after working in the newspaper industry. I love living in France (my mother was born and raised in Brittany), and enjoyed the wonderful markets, culture, and weather. Each week we would try a new bistro or restaurant and our French is improving rapidly (with the help of a Tue. a.m. weekly lesson). I must admit, my all-time favorite cookbook is the the two-volume Julia Child French Cooking set. I've been using it since I started cooking.
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