Spache the Spatula

Moroccan Lamb Lasagna

Let’s chat. And eat lasagna.

A feta bechamel, ground lamb, as el hangout, and dried apricots make this lasagna recipe extra special! | spachethespatula.com I totally didn’t tell you guys how my Thanksgiving trip home to Florida was! Mikey and I got back this past weekend, and I only just yesterday got the house stocked back up with groceries. It’s because I have this thing with AmazonFresh where I will spend literal hours picking out exactly what I want. I mean I do go to regular grocery stores too… I just thought it’d be “easier” if I used AmazonFresh this time, and it ended up taking two days because I’m weird, haha!

Sarasota Sunset Sarasota SunsetIs that not the MOST GORGEOUS sunset you’ve ever seen?! No filters, people! Just a perfect Sarasota, Florida sunset!

But anyway, our trip was amazing, and crazy. A family of 6 plus all the boyfriends, girlfriend, friends, etc. is always crazy, but especially so during the holidays! Um and did I mention that I’m actually going back in like 2 weeks and staying through Christmas? That’s trouble waiting to happen 😀

We had an amazing Thanksgiving full of crazy good food.

  • My dad smoked a big ol’ turkey in his Green Egg.
  • My mom made her famous corn souffle (which I need to get on the blog because seriously everyone we know requests my mom to make it for every function, ever), her crazy addictive spinach dip in a pumpernickel bread bowl, and a FANTASTIC cranberry-apple pie (along with a slew of other staples).
  • Friends brought prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, mini cappers skewers, and pecan pie bars.
  • I made these butternut squash crostinis, these shrimp with sauces (the orange cocktail sauce is the BEST cocktail sauce you will ever try—FACT), these fancy brussels sprouts that were even better than the last time I made them, and a Pinot Noir cranberry sauce that you may have seen on my insta.

The only bad part is that we could’t take any leftovers with us 🙁

A feta bechamel, ground lamb, as el hangout, and dried apricots make this lasagna recipe extra special! | spachethespatula.com A feta bechamel, ground lamb, as el hangout, and dried apricots make this lasagna recipe extra special! | spachethespatula.com I think that’s why I felt the urge to make lasagna…a full week of leftovers in one dish! But you guys know me, I have trouble ever keeping things standard around here, so I went and changed things up with a Moroccan flair.

I used ground lamb instead of beef, threw in a few chopped dried apricots and a healthy dose of ras el hanout, and added feta to the béchamel. It turned out crazy tasty!

By the way, if you’re not familiar with ras el hanout, it’s a Moroccan spice blend that you can find at specialty grocery stores or online. But I also found this recipe, in case you can’t locate it.

A feta bechamel, ground lamb, as el hangout, and dried apricots make this lasagna recipe extra special! | spachethespatula.com A feta bechamel, ground lamb, as el hangout, and dried apricots make this lasagna recipe extra special! | spachethespatula.com Oh and guess what happened like an hour after Mikey and I got back from the airport?! SNOW! As a Florida girl, I don’t think I will EVER get over the novelty of it. I know all you midwesterners are like “Yeah try dealing with feet of the stuff,” and damn do I wish I could!

My feetsies were freezing to death while I was trying to take photo of the uncooked lasagna. I hat to keep jumping back inside to warm them up, haha!

A feta bechamel, ground lamb, as el hangout, and dried apricots make this lasagna recipe extra special! | spachethespatula.com You know what’s great about this lasagna other than the fact that it’s delicious and that it makes a ton? You can make it ahead of time and pop the whole thing uncooked in the fridge for a day or so, of wrap it up in foil and freeze it for a quick dinner fix on a busy day!

Oh and just FYI, I’m a little lasagna crazy right now (must be the cold weather), so expect to see another weird-o flavor combo lasagna showing up in the next week or two!

A feta bechamel, ground lamb, as el hangout, and dried apricots make this lasagna recipe extra special! | spachethespatula.com

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Moroccan Lamb Lasagna

Yield: 9"x13" lasagna

Ingredients:

for the lamb ragu:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 3 oz. (about 1 dozen) dried apricots (I like the no sugar added kind), roughly chopped
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp ras el hanout*
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper

for the feta béchamel:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 and 1/2 oz. feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan (I use a grated parmesan and romano blend from a local Italian specialty shop)
  • salt and pepper

for the lasagna:

  • 9 oz. box no-boil lasagna noodles (I actually didn't end up using about 2-4 noodles from the pack)
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 oz feta, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan

Directions:

for the lamb ragu:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook for 5 minutes until the onion is softened. Add in the garlic and bay leaves and good for about a minute, until fragrant.
  2. Push the onions and garlic off to the side, and add in the lamb. Brown it for a couple minutes, without moving, before flipping and breaking it up. Continue to cook it for another few minutes until completely browned.
  3. Add in the apricots, mix everything together, and cook for about a minute. Add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices; cook for 15 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

for the feta béchamel:

  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk. Continues whisking and cook for 3 minutes, until thickened.
  3. Remove from heated stir in the cheeses until melted (the feta may stay a little clumpy but that's totally fine!).

for the lasagna:

  1. Spray the bottom of your own with nonstick spray. Cover the bottom in a layer of pasta, then spread on half of the ragu. Pour 1/3 of the béchamel on top of that. Add another layer of pasta and then the remainder of the ragu. Add another 1/3 of the bechamel, and another layer of pasta. Sprinkle on the shredded mozzarella, and drizzle with the remainder of the béchamel. Finish with the feta and parmesan.
  2. Now you can cover with foil sprayed with nonstick spray, and place in the fridge (or freezer!). When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for an hour with the foil on, then remove the foil and cook for another 15-20 minutes.

*ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend that can be found in specialty grocery stores, but I have also linked a recipe in the above post

A feta bechamel, ground lamb, as el hangout, and dried apricots make this lasagna recipe extra special! | spachethespatula.com

Happy Birthday to my best friend of over a decade, Alana!

   

4 Responses to “Moroccan Lamb Lasagna”

  1. Sarah@WholeandHeavenlyOven — December 4, 2014 at 5:15 am

    Your Thanksgiving sounds like a blast, Rachael! I would seriously DIE to be in Florida right now—it’s so cold here! But this lasagna? I think this alone could convince me to stick around—I LOOOVE hearty cheesy lasagnas this time of year!

    • Rachael replied: — December 4th, 2014 @ 11:17 am

      It’s totally “lasagna season” haha!

      And oh my gosh, Florida was almost *too* hot. Because I’m a weird-o I only packed cold-weather clothes, and the day we flew in it was 88!

  2. trudi — January 26, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    This looks yummy!!! do you think green olives would work in this?

    • Rachael replied: — January 26th, 2016 @ 9:56 pm

      What a gorgeous idea! I think that would be so very tasty!

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