Comfort Food

Lately, as most people seem to be doing, I’m turning to comfort food recipes. On the weekends in particular, I like to pull out those dishes I wouldn’t typically have time for. This particular one stuck out as not taking a ton of time and reminds me of growing up.

Joye was my Mom’s friend from work. She gave her this recipe. I have seen plenty of Italian recipes…in fact, one of my dearest friends native Italian father came over and made it one night from scratch, and it’s great. But sometimes, childhood tastes better than authentic.

This is a “good ol’ American-Italian cooking from the mid-century, the kind that sits on the table and families used to gather around. It has it’s own place in our culture and I think this sort of thing should be preserved. It’s amazing to make with kids, there’s some chopping and stirring and making the layers and spreading the fillings that keep them excited and busy during dinner time.

I also love that I can pour a glass of wine and sit near the stove smelling it as it simmers. A little bit of peace in an otherwise hectic world. Enjoy!

Joye’s Lasagna

  • 1/2 lb lasagna noodles, cooked (10 noodles)
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 6 oz. cans of tomato paste
  • 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 t crushed oregano
  • 1 t fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 t anise, crushed
  • 16 oz. ricotta cheese, whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 lb mozzarella slices
  • grated parmesan for sprinkling
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 6 oz. of water in the tomato paste can
  • 1 T parsley fresh
  • 1/2 t pepper

Brown ground beef, onion and garlic and parsley.

Add paste, water, tomatoes and spices. Simmer for 1-1.5 hours.

Add noodles to 6 qts of salted boiling water, cook 15 minutes, drain.

Mix egg, parsley with ricotta. Arrange layers in a 9×13 baking dish, starting with small amount of sauce on bottom then layer, noodle, ricotta, sauce, parmesan, mozzarella, noodle, ricotta, sauce, parmesan, but wait on mozzarella until 15 minutes before and bake. 

Bake 350 for 45 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before cutting.

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