Baked Lasagna

Gerlando Sciascia

Baked Lasagna

•           11/2 pounds ground chuck
•           1 large onion, sliced
•           2 cloves garlic, crushed
•           11/2 packages spaghetti sauce mix
•           1 teaspoons MSG or Accent
•           1 teaspoon oregano
•           1 teaspoon salt
•           1/2 teaspoon pepper
•           1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes
•           1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
•           1 (4-ounce) can mushrooms, drained
•           11/4 pounds (21/2 cups) large curd, cream style cottage cheese
•           2 eggs, beaten
•           1 teaspoon seasoned salt
•           1/2 pound lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
•           12 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
•           1/2 to 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Brown meat, onion and garlic. Stir in spaghetti sauce mix, MSG, oregano and seasonings. Add tomatoes, sauce and mushrooms. Cook over low heat at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Longer cooking enhances flavor.
In a bowl, combine cottage cheese, eggs and seasoned salt.
Spray two 13-by-9-inch pans with nonstick spray. Alternate layers of half of each of noodles, mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese mixture and meat sauce. Repeat layers, ending with sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 15 mi



Spaghetti sauce with meatballs




Spaghetti sauce with meatballs
•           3 pounds ground chuck
•           3 eggs, slightly beaten
•           1 tablespoon parsley
•           1 teaspoon salt
•           1 teaspoon pepper
•           1 clove garlic, minced
•           1/4 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese (or a combination)
•           Flour
•           2 tablespoons oil
•           1 onion, chopped
•           1 clove garlic, minced
•           1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes (optional)
•           1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste
•           12 ounces water
•           1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
•           8 ounces water
•           Salt and pepper, to taste
•           1 tablespoon parsley
•           1/2 to 1 teaspoon oregano
•           Parmesan cheese
•           Cooked spaghetti noodles
In a bowl, combine first 6 ingredients. Add cheese and mix well. Shape into golf ball size balls. Roll in flour to coat. Heat 2 tablespoon oil in large pot. Add meatballs and brown. Remove.
In same pot, sauté onion and garlic about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and 1 (12-ounce can) water, then add tomato sauce and 1/2 (8-ounce) can water. Stir in salt and pepper to taste, parsley and pinch oregano. Add Parmesan cheese. Heat, then add meatballs. Simmer for at least 1 hour. If sauce becomes too thick add water.
When ready to serve, place spaghetti on plate. Sprinkle Parmesan or Romano cheese over noodles before adding sauce.
For a thicker sauce, omit tomatoes.


SIMPLE ITALIAN RICE WITH PEAS (RISI E BISI)



View of the burned car and the charred remains (under burlap bag) of gangster Morris Grossman in front of 240 E. 81st St



Makes about 5 cups
Try this (or the variation) as a side dish to grilled fish or chicken, or even on its own.
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 cup arborio rice
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, simmering
1½ cups frozen peas (about 8 ounces)
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons butter until melted and hot. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the edges of the grains turn translucent, about 2 minutes longer. Add 1 cup of the simmering broth and 1 teaspoon salt, adjust the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice has absorbed about half the broth, about 3½ minutes. Add another 2½ cups simmering broth and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Add the peas, cover the pan, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice and peas are tender but al dente and peas are bright green, about 5 minutes longer. Add the Parmesan and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and stir to melt the butter and mix. Taste and adjust the consistency with additional broth, if desired, and the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste if necessary, and serve hot.



PASTA WITH PEAS, PROSCIUTTO, AND CREAM


The body of Tommy Protheroe lies outside his apartment house in Sunnyside, Queens, where he and his female companion, Elizabeth Connors, were shot by gangsters

Serves 4 (generously) as a main course

Shelled fresh peas need a little more cooking time than thawed frozen peas, so if you use fresh ones, add them to the cream after it has reduced for 2 minutes. As this pasta is unapologetically rich, a little goes a long way; you may be able to serve 6 in more modest portions.

1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 pound high-quality Italian egg fettuccine or tagliatelle
2 cups (1 10-ounce package) thawed frozen peas
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan (about 1½ ounces), plus extra to pass at table
1/3 pound prosciutto (about 11 generous slices), cut into ¼-inch strips
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

In a very large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the butter and oil until the butter is melted and hot. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced by a third, about 3½ minutes, adding the lemon zest about halfway through that time.

Meanwhile, in a large pot over high heat, bring 4 quarts of water to boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta, and cook until just barely al dente (adjust heat if necessary to prevent water from boiling over). Reserve 1½ cups pasta cooking water and drain the pasta.

Add the pasta, 2/3 cup pasta cooking water, and peas to the skillet with the cream and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the pasta is al dente and well coated with the cream mixture, about 1 minute. Add the 3/4 cup Parmesan, prosciutto, pepper to taste, and most of the parsley and toss to combine, separating the prosciutto strips as you go. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, and the consistency with additional pasta water, if necessary. Serve at once, sprinkling with a little of the remaining parsley and passing the remaining Parmesan.