A CookBook Recipes & Other Stuff or How to Keep the Kids from Developing Beriberi After They've Moved Away From Home

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Lasagne is a fairly free-form meal - this is a typically American version - distilled from various sources - cookbooks and Italian friends - and modified to fit a group of people that don't like "green things" in their food ...

I was thinking how few of those foods I remember most are typical "American" recipes - I was trying to explain to Michael the reason we were having lasagne for Christmas (other than lasagne was what Liz and Chris wanted) - Lasagne from Italy (as served by his Colombian grandmother, with rice and salad), stollen from Germany (well, actually Sweden, since it's a recipe for Swedish Yule bread), cookies from Jewish bakers (mostly German and Austrian and a bit Italian), tamales from Mexico, and plum pudding from England (by way of Ireland and his great great grandmother and a bottle of Guiness) - so I suppose they are American after all ...

1 Box No Cook Lasagne

1 can crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 extra large jar Ragu or 2 small jars

2 pounds mozzarella

1 pound Italian sausage (mix of hot & sweet)

2 pounds ground beef

1 pound whole milk ricotta

1 egg


Oregano, garlic, pepper and salt to taste

Brown beef in a dutch oven, drain in a colander. Prick sausages with a fork and bake in 400F oven for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

Put sliced sausage and beef in dutch oven, and add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and Ragu and spices. Let simmer as long as you like - at least one hour - if it seems too dry add a bit of water or red wine -no more than a cup probably.

Grate Mozzarella - or slice thinly.

Mix ricotta with egg and add a tablespoon or so of sauce, a bit of parmesan, some pepper, salt and oregano - parsley too, if you aren't allergic to "green".

Cover the bottom of a roasting pan with a thin layer of sauce - so the pasta won't stick. Place a layer of pasta over the sauce. Then layer one third of the meat sauce, one half the ricotta (just dollops over the sauce with a teaspoon), and one third of the mozzarella. Make another layer, and top with a third layer of pasta.

Place a layer of sauce ( for this layer, no meat, just sauce) and mozzarella over the top, and sprinkle with parmesan.

Since we are now using no-cook pasta, the sauce should be a bit thinner than the old fashioned type. It also seems to taste better if you assemble it the night before.

Bake - covered with foil - at 400F - for about 20/30minutes, then uncover and bake about 10/15 minutes more, until bubbly hot .


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