Jun 01

Welcome back. This week we’d like to share with you a traditional lasagna recipe.

First, the ingredients:

1 recipe Pasta Sauce
2 lb. lasagna
3 lb ricotta
1 egg
1-1/2 lb mozzarella (shredded)

Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of water until al dente (a bit hard). Drain. Rinse with cold water to keep from sticking.
In a mixing bowl, mix the ricotta and egg. Next, begin by putting a bit of sauce in the bottom of a large casserole dish. (note: the dish shown is 9″ x 13-1/2″ x 3″ deep. This recipe will make two of these pans. It’s perfect for the 18x13x3 trays you see on buffet racks with sterno keeping it warm.) Then put the first layer of pasta noodles.


Now, put a layer of sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella.

Repeat this process, alternating the direction of the noodles from one layer to the next. Depending on the pan sizes you use, you’ll get three or four layers in the two pans or one large tray. Note, to last week’s sauce, I added 1-1/2 lbs of ground turkey. Browned a bit, then drained of fat. Once it’s all set, bake at 350F for 1 hour, or until it starts to brown. Our oven is pretty accurate, the first time you make this keep an eye out in case your’s runs hot. And the final product.


This freezes very well, and the one pan you see can be 6 meals when served with soup and salad, or 8 servings as part of a larger meal. So this effort results in a nice Sunday dinner and a very happy freezer.

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May 25

You may have been using the jarred sauces, and we’ll admit to using them as well, from time to time. But there’s nothing like the taste of homemade. This is the next recipe in our “cooking for the week” series, as you can use this sauce for multiple meals during the week and/or freeze a portion for another time. Next week we will use this sauce to make a lasagna.

3 cans (28oz ea) tomatoes (whole or crushed)
1 large onion
1 tbl garlic
1 tbl oregano
1 tbl basil
1/2 tsp black pepper

Cut onion, I like it chunky, so it’s cut top to bottom (like you’d cut an orange) into 8 sections. You may prefer it minced. Then fry in olive oil. As onion starts to brown, add the garlic and continue to fry a few minutes more, then add the tomatoes, and the spices. Let this simmer on low for about 3 hours. Yes, 3 hours. Use a screen if it splatters. Stir every 15-20 minutes. For a meat sauce, add 1-1/2 lbs or so of ground beef or ground turkey. This is a pretty basic sauce, and takes on additional ingredients pretty readily, add peppers, carrots, peas, or other garden vegetables if you wish.
Back next week with the lasagna.

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May 18

My next “cooking for the week” offering.

Few cloves garlic
1 lb sweet sausage
1 lb hot sausage (substitute 1 1/2 lbs boiled chicken for sausage, if you’d like)
2 lbs zucchini
1 large onion
1 red or green pepper
2 cans (15oz) chicken broth
2 cans (15oz) tomato sauce (or one 32oz can whole or crushed tomatoes)
1 tbl basil
1 tbl oregano
1 tbl parsley

Brown garlic & sausage (drain), add everything else, simmer till zucchini falls apart. This recipe can be changed to suit your diet, change from pork sausage to turkey sausage if you wish. This can be served as you would any soup, or you can serve it on a bed of rice or pasta to make it into a full meal. It freezes very well, and as we discussed last week, this is another great way to prepare ahead. Next time I make this, I’ll add pictures to this post. Last, note that chicken and sausage both go on sale on a regular basis, so I tend to buy those, and freeze them, and when zucchini is in season, it’s time to make this soup. A bit of planning can be pretty rewarding.

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May 11

This is our first “cooking for the week” recipe. As we mentioned Friday, the concept is to pick a block of time, a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, when the weather is going to be bad does the trick for me. During this time, you make as many of these dishes as you can, 3 is a good target. One is Sunday dinner, with another dinner or two stored in the freezer, and the other two can either go in the freezer entirely or half in the fridge for the next two nights meals. As Martha A Cheves of Stir, Laugh, Repeat wrote to me, by buying larger portions of some of these ingredients, you can save money, and freezer containers are pretty cheap at Dollar Tree stores. I’ll write more about this concept in future posting, now, it’s chili time.

1lb. ground sausage meat
1lb. ground beef
1 can (28oz) tomatoes (I use whole or crushed)
1 lg sweet onion
1 tbl chopped garlic
1 tbl chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground pepper
salt to taste ( I leave this out)
1 can (16oz) kidney beans
1 can (16oz) pinto beans

Fry chopped onion in olive oil until translucent, then add garlic and cook till soft. In large pot, fry sausage & ground beef (in a bit of oil), then drain off fat. Add tomatoes, beans, onion, and all seasoning. Cook for 30 minutes. Makes 8 servings, so two meals for a family of 4. Enjoy, looking forward to any comments, or ideas for other recipes that fit this category.

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