‘Italian Style’

Pesto Spinach Lasagne




Oven 350F

Serves 6-8

¼ cup olive oil

1 large sweet yellow onion

2 garlic cloves or 2 tsp chopped garlic

1 ½ Tbsp Provence herb mix or Italian mix

Optional:

1lb ground lean turkey or beef

Pour the olive oil into a large heavy saucepan or skillet. If you are making a meat sauce, crumble in the ground meat; stir and cook until done.

Chop the onion into ¼” bits. Mince the garlic cloves very fine or press through a garlic press. Add to the pan. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes.

1 can (29 oz) crushed tomatoes

1 can (29 oz) tomato sauce

1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

Add the rest. Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

¼ cup olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 cup pinenuts

1 tsp garlic, chopped

Handful fresh basil leaves or 2 Tbsp dried basil

Place in a blender. Mix and blend into a smooth pesto.

2 lb frozen spinach

Place the spinach on two paper towels on a plate. Microwave on defrost 2 minutes or longer to completely defrost. Place another paper towel on top and press all of the water out of the spinach.

Add half of the spinach to the pesto and blend until smooth.

Save the other half for layering.

3 eggs

Add the eggs to the pesto and beat together.

1 lb no-boil lasagna noodles

1 lb frozen spinach (half from above)

Layer into a 9×13 pan or two loaf pans:

– Sauce

– Noodles

– Pesto mixture (½” thick)

– Noodles

– Spinach

– Sauce

Repeat the layers 3-4 times. Cover with foil and bake at 350F for 45 minutes.

I prefer the loaf pans because the no-boil lasagna sheets expand perfectly to fit. It also makes it easy to prepare one pan with meat sauce or add a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese- variety for the everyone in the family.

Spaghetti Sauce

 

 

Serves 4-6

1 large sweet yellow onion

2 garlic cloves or 2 tsp chopped garlic

1 ½ Tbsp Provence herb mix or Italian mix

¼ cup olive oil

  

Chop the onion into ¼ “ bits. Mince the garlic cloves very fine or press through a garlic press. Pour the olive oil into a large heavy saucepan or skillet.  Add the onion, garlic and herbs. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes.

1 can (29 oz) crushed tomatoes

1 can (29 oz) tomato sauce

1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

Add the rest. Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

I prefer Hunts canned tomato products.

Bolognese Spaghetti Sauce

 

 

Serves 4-6

¼ cup olive oil

1lb ground lean turkey or beef

1 large sweet yellow onion

2 garlic cloves or 2 tsp chopped garlic

1 ½ Tbsp Provence herb mix or Italian mix

  

Pour the olive oil into a large heavy saucepan or skillet.  Crumble in the ground meat; stir and cook until done.

Chop the onion into ¼ “ bits. Mince the garlic cloves very fine or press through a garlic press. Add the onion, garlic and herbs to the meat. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes.

1 can (29 oz) crushed tomatoes

1 can (29 oz) tomato sauce

1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

Add the rest. Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

I prefer Hunts canned tomato products.

Bruschetta Salsa

 

1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes or 1 large fresh tomato

3 Tbsp pine nuts

½ sweet yellow onion

2 cloves garlic

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp dried oregano

 

If you are using a fresh tomato, cut in quarters and peel. Pour the tomatoes into a sieve or colander and press out the water with a paper towel. Blend everything together in a salsa chopper or blender using the pulse mode until fairly smooth.

2 cups fresh basil leaves

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes or 1 large fresh tomato

 

Wash the basil leaves and dry with paper towel. Add another can of well-drained tomatoes and remaining ingredients and blend a few times until the basil is well chopped.

 

Serve with warm Herbed Flat Bread or garlic toast.

Herbed Flat Bread

Herbed Flat Bread

 

Oven 425 F

1 cup of warm water

2 pkgs dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

3 Tbsp Provence Herbs or Italian Mixed Herbs

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 ½ cups flour

 

Warm the mixing bowl by filling the bowl with hot water, pour it out and dry. Add the cup of warm water. Dissolve the yeast into the water with a fork. Add all ingredients. Mix with the mixer on low speed for a few minutes. Cover with a warm damp towel and let it stand for 15-30 minutes.

½ cup flour

¼ cup course cornmeal

1 Tbsp olive oil

Spread ½ cup of flour on the countertop in a 12” circle. Turn out the dough onto the flour. Gently knead about 50 times, push with your palms from the center to the outer edge, pick up the outer edge and fold in to the center. Knead until the dough is no longer sticky. Sprinkle a little more flour on the counter. Use a rolling pin to roll out a thin circle about ¼” thickness. Make a circle for one large pizza pan. If you don’t have a pizza pan, divide the dough for two smaller circles on a cookie sheet.

 

Sprinkle corn meal on the baking pan. Lift the dough and place it on the pan. Brush lightly with olive oil.

 

Bake on the center rack of the oven for 12-15 minutes until the bread is golden brown.

 

Remove from the oven and slide onto a cutting board. Cut into 2 “ strips and across into diagonal shaped pieces.

 

For a wonderful appetizer, serve this fresh bread with Bruschetta Salsa or Olive Tapenade.

 

This is a basic pizza crust recipe, with the addition of herbs to jazz it up for appetizers.

Pizza Sauce

1 sweet yellow onion

3 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp dried herbs – Provencal herbs or Italian mix

¼ cup olive oil

Chop the onion fine to less than 1/4” bits. Peel and chop the garlic very fine to 1/8” bits. Add to a large saucepan along with the oil. Rub the dried herbs between your fingers to release the flavors as you add them. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft.

2 – 15 oz cans Hunts tomato sauce

2 – 6 oz cans Hunts tomato paste

2 tsp sugar

½  tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

Add tomato sauce, paste and seasonings. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes on low heat.

 

 

Freeze leftovers in individual size portions for a quick pizza later.

Quick Pizza

Quick Pizza

 

Oven 400 F

White or whole wheat flatbread or pita bread

Place the flatbread directly on the middle oven rack for 3-5 minutes or until the bottom is slightly stiff.

Bring out of the oven and turn over onto a plate, crispy side up to form your crust.

 

Pizza sauce

Spoon the sauce generously on the crust.

 

Any pizza toppings:

Fresh basil

Black olives

Sautéed mushrooms

Green or red bell peppers

Canned artichokes

Capers

Sautéed garlic

Fresh tomato slices

Pepperoni

Thin ham

Pineapple

Mozzarella cheese, grated

Colby Jack cheese, grated

Parmesan cheese

Dried oregano

Salt

 

Add your favorite toppings. Sprinkle with dried oregano and a dash of salt.

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Pizza Toppings

Spicy Turkey Topping

1 lb of lean ground turkey

3 Tbsp olive oil

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½  tsp sage

¼ tsp oregano

¼  tsp salt

A grating of black pepper

This is a healthier alternative to sausage. Pour the oil in the skillet and heat. Add turkey, brown and crumble the turkey with a spatula over medium heat. Add the spices.

 

  Place back in the oven directly on the middle rack. Bake 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling. Remove with a large spatula and slide on a cutting board. Cut and slide onto the plate. Voila!

The amazing thing about these pizzas is that they are so quick and easy, yet incredibly tasty! Perfect for a large family gathering or party- let each person build their own.