Sunday, May 24, 2015

Golden Gate Lasagne

from the archives 


When I was about 10, in the year 1981, I went through a huge cutting-things-out-of-the-newspaper phase, and this recipe is one of the survivors from that period. I clipped this, along with several other recipes long-since forgotten, from the San Francisco Chronicle, and carefully taped it into my recipe book, where it has remained these 33 years. And I’ve actually made this recipe several times, so my labors were not in vain, it would seem. Go, 10 year-old me with my scissors and tape and obsessions!

making the sauce

The reason lasagne is so easy is that you just make pasta sauce, build layers of cheese, noodles and sauce, and then bake. I consider it one of those all-purpose meals in that you can make what you like of it, and there are endless variations. Often I make it without meat, which is still tasty and filling. (Throw almost any vegetables in: mushrooms, peppers, spinach, corn… you name it.) Once, however, I made it without cheese: a sad, soupy affair. Not recommended.

building layers

My adaptation of this recipe is such that I use fresh herbs when I have them, and instead of the cottage cheese and mozzarella, I just use ricotta. I also top it with grated parmesan before baking, because: cheese. Finally, I am now using the noodles which don’t require pre-cooking. (Imagine! No fighting with noodles that rip in half as you try to un-stick them from each-other, like devil mating octopi!) I had a real hard time accepting those noodles at first - yes, I’m suspicious. You mean you literally just pull them from the box and place them in the baking dish? Raw? And they work! Hallelujah. 

optional: sprinkle grated parmesan on top before baking (= yum)

Golden Gate Lasagne

½ pound ground beef
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
¼ tsp ground pepper

1 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp dried basil
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 can (8 oz) stewed tomatoes
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
½ 10-oz package lasagna noodles
¾ cup cottage cheese
¾ cup grated mozzarella cheese

Brown the beef. Stir in the garlic, onion, pepper, oregano, basil, parsley stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles as package directs until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
Place a third of the noodles in an 8-inch loaf pan. Layer with the beef sauce, cottage cheese and mozzarella. Repeat, making two more layers.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Serves 2 or 3