Best Tomato Recipes for Lasagna and Fritters
History and Background
Lasagna (or lasagne) has often been considered an expensive and time consuming dish to prepare. However, the modifiable recipe below is more simple, not as expensive as one might expect, and is perfect for either meatless or meat-filled lasagna.
Looking at histories of this tomato, meat, and cheese dish, we find references dating to 1400 AD, but some jumbled data. The name for this favorite may be either Italian or Greek - many say it is Greek, actually named after the dish in which it was cooked. (Some references list a mention of "chamber pot" , which is none too appetizing.)
Whatever its origins, lasagna is delicious in a hundred different versions. Here is a recipe you can change many ways, with some additional tomato recipes that you will like.
Meat or Meatless Lasagna
Meat or Vegetable Filling
- 3/4 pound lean ground beef, turkey, or chicken. For vegetarian, used cubed eggplant. (I have also seen this dish prepared with ground pork or sliced kielbasa. A lot of possibilities can be had.)
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Large onion, chopped
- 1 Pound of tomatoes, crushed and juice (use a can of tomatoes if you like)
- 2 Tbs tomato paste
- 1 Beef bouillon cube
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (or more, if you like)
- 1 tsp dried basil (I like dill instead, especially with sausage)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Pound box lasagna noodles
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 Cups 2% milk
- 1 1/4 Cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Nutmeg to taste
- Brown ground meat in a skillet, drain by slotted spoon and place into a large pot.
- Saute' onions in same skillet until translucent and add to the meat.
- Add in the crushed tomatoes and juice, tomato paste, broken-up bouillon cube, garlic and seasonings.
- Set heat to medium and cook covered for 20 minutes. Add siome water if pot becomes too dry.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan and add flour. Stir well and add in milk, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. It should thicken well.
- Add 3/4 of the shredded cheese and stir it to melt. Don't allow to burn
- Taste, season, and stir well, then remove from heat.
- Cook lasagna noodles in boiling unsalted water to al dente.
- Layer 1/2 of the noodles in the bottom of a baking dish.
- Pour half the cheese sauce on top of noodles, followed by half of meat filling.
- Place a covering layer of more lasagna noodles.
- Layer the rest of the meat sauce, then the remaining noodles, then pour cheese sauce over the entire top of the dish.
- Scatter the remaining cheese on top. Sprinkle with extra nutmeg if you like.
- Bake 20 minutes, remove and let rest for 10 minutes, and serve.
- 1 Dozen medium tomatoes, either red, green, or yellow, chunked to bite-size
- 1/2 tsp sugar or honey
- 1 tsp salt or garlic salt
- 2 tsp Cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp black or red ground pepper
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 Cup crushed cornflakes
- 2 Tbsp bacon bits or fresh cooked crumbled bacon
- 1/3 Cup butter or vegetable oil
- In a large mixing bowl, add tomatoes, flour, cornflakes, salt, pepper, sugar, vinegar, garlic powder, bacon, and butter.
- Mix thoroughly with clean hands and scoop heaping tablespoonsful into your hands to work, one at a time.
- Shape the mix into flattened patties1/2" thick.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over a medium heat and cook patties a few at a time to golden brown, turning each once.
When you serve these fritters, provide a range of sauces, such as:
- Cucumber or Bleu Cheese Dressing
- Picante Sauce
- Horseradish or Horseradish Mustard
- Homemade Salsa
- Honey Mustard
Spicy Tomato Cocktail
This beverage is very similar to V-8 juice.
Makes 1 Quart of juice.
- 2 Quarts of flavorful red ripe tomatoes (ask your grocer which are best in your area)
- 1/2 of a medium sized red sweet pepper, chopped
- 1/2 of a Green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 Medium onion, chopped
- 1 Clove peeled garlic, sliced
- 1 large rib of celery and leaves, chopped
- 1/4 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 small dried hot red pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1 Bay leaf
- 3 sprigs parsley
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Juice from one whole lemon
- Wash all the tomatoes and pare any green or yellow parts and remove cores.
- Cut tomatoes to quarters and measure 5 Cups of quarters. Any extra, you can use in salads.
- In a large stainless steel pot, place tomatoes, sweet pepper, onion, garlic, celery, peppercorns, hot pepper, coriander, bay leaf, parsley, basil, and mustard seeds.
- Raise the mixture to the boil, reduce, heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften. Remove from heat.
- Press the vegetables and liquid through a fine sieve into a large bowl.
- If the juice seems thin, let it settle and skim off the liquid that rises to the top.
- Taste and season with sugar, salt, and some pepper sauce if you wish.
- Add lemon and stir. Taste and re-season if needed.
- Return juice to the cooking pot after you have rinsed it out, bring it to the boil, and then transfer it into clean, hot canning bars, leaving ¼" headspace.
- Wipe rims, place two-piece lids on top, and screw on the neck bands.
- If you will not use the juice immediately, then process in boiling water -- Place jar(s) on a rack in a large pot half-full of boiling water. Add boiling water to cover the jar(s) 2 inches above the caps. Raise heat, bring to the boil, cover, and boil 15 minutes for quart jars, or 10 minutes for pint jars.
- Remove the jar(s) from the hot water bath and set on a towel or a cooling rack to cool. If you do not hot-water process the juice, place in your refrigerator and use within a few days.
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