Healthy Life Style

CHRISTMAS Sunday Sauce and Lasagna by Toni Hoyos, The New York Extra,

Christmas is a perfect time for some comfort food, representing family and tradition whilst giving you that cozy, comfy feeling.

I started the sauce with an onion, garlic and carrot mixture, which I put in the food processor first, then sauteed the mixture in about 1/2 cup of a good quality olive oil for approximately 10 minutes. Adding more olive oil as necessary. At that point I added several cans of organic San Marzano tomatoes with sauce which I broke down first in the food processor. You will need to do the tomatoes in a few batches. This was added into the pot with the vegetable mixture. I used a 16 quart stock pot so as not to crowd the meats. Bring the sauce to a boil then add in the assorted meats and fresh basil, lower to a simmer and cook uncovered for approximately 2 to 3 hours. I actually cooked the meatballs in a smaller separate pot to avoid meatballs falling apart amongst all the other meats. To save time I seared the meats the night before. I found packaged Sunday sauce meats at Uncle Giuseppes’s, the package included beef and pork braciole, hot and sweet sausage, a piece of pork loin and a piece of beef.

Once the sauce was done and cooled a little I assembled the lasagna using a 12×18 pan. I used about 5 lbs of ricotta cheese to which I added in 1 egg, fresh chopped parsley and black pepper. The mozzarella cheese (2 lbs) I chopped in the food processor, it saves time and is easier to handle. Using Trader Joe’s no bake lasagna noodles, I first ladled some sauce onto the bottom of the pan, then topped with the lasagna noodles overlapping to fit size of pan ( I used 9). Next spread ricotta on top of noodles, sprinkle mozzarella on top of ricotta then spoon sauce on top, next noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, sauce, continue in this manner until pan is full. Top should end with noodles then ladle sauce on top and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Bake 400 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes. Check at 30 minutes. Let sit and cool 10 minutes before cutting, serve and enjoy!

SAUCE ingredients: I used about 200 ounces of canned tomatoes with sauce. 2 medium onions, 6-8 cloves of garlic, 2 medium carrots and fresh basil. 7-8 pounds assorted meats (braciole, sausage, pork loin and beef) plus 2 pounds turkey chop meat for the meatballs.

MEATBALL ingredients: 2 lbs organic turkey chop meat, 1 medium onion, 2 cups fresh parsley, 1 egg, 2 cloves garlic, salt and black pepper to taste. 2 rolls water soaked then squeezed out and shredded by hand added to turkey meat, add additional dry bread crumbs for desired consistency. Lightly mix all together by hand, do not overwork. Form meatballs to size, bake in preheated 425 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes turn half way through or when crispy.

LASAGNA ingredients: 2 boxes Trader Joe’s no bake lasagna noodles (2 lbs) you will have leftover noodles. 5 pounds whole milk ricotta mixed with 1 egg, fresh chopped parsley and black pepper. 2 pounds whole milk mozzarella chopped/shredded. Homemade sauce.

This recipe yields for a large crowd 10-12 people.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and a blessed healthy New Year!

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