I thought I would leave the Greek Cuisine this time around and share this very old delicious Italian Lasanga Recipe, that was given to my mother from her Italian friend Maria many many many moons ago. Our next door neighbors in the states was this wonderful and very happy Italian family. The mother’s name was Maria, can’t remember what the father’s name was and the son’s name was Rosario.
As children growing up in the states, most of the time we would play outside, on the street along with the other kids on our block and so did Rosario. Every afternoon/evening a little before 6, Maria would come out yelling “Rosario Manga” hahahaha till this day I still remember how Rosario would respond with “Mama ooohhhh” he would say something in Italian, stomp his feet, cross his arms, and then he would start running so that he would not have to go in and eat. Maria would then become furious and start yelling in Italian and of course then come running after him.
My mother and Maria became very good friends, we lived next to each other for so many years, they would exchange recipes, go shopping together, help each other out in the gardens, just being there for one another. What was really unbelievable was that neither one of these two ladies spoke good English, one Italian and the other Greek, and yet they communicated in their own little way. I found that to be amazing!!!
One of the recipe’s that was loved by everyone on our block was Maria’s famous Lasagna dish. Whenever Maria made this dish, you could smell it around the block…she would always give everyone a small piece because she knew everyone loved it!!. This recipe was originally passed on to Maria from her mother, and she was nice enough to give the recipe to my mother. It has been in our family for many many years, and now I would like to share Maria’s recipe with you. 🙂
THE OLD ITALIAN LASAGNA RECIPE
- 2 packages Lasagna Pasta Sheets
- 10 Italian Sausages cut into small pieces
- 1 kilo Ground Beef / 2 lbs. Ground Beef
- 5 Fresh Tomatoes grated
- 2 tablespoons Tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons Oregano
- 1 cup Olive Oil
- 4 large pieces Mozzarella
- 3 packages Ricotta Cheese
- 3 tablespoons Sugar
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 3 cups Water
In a large sauce pan add in half a cup of the Olive Oil, sausages, and ground beef. Once the meat has turned brown add in the fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons oregano, salt, sugar, pepper, cinnamon stick, 3 cups of water and let boil on low heat for about 2 hrs.
When the sauce is ready, add into the baking pan a scoop of sauce, and start layering in the Lasagna sheets. (I don’t have a large enough square baking pan, so I used a round one) Add in a large scoop of the sauce with sausages, and ground beef, top with the mozzarella and ricotta cheese. Continue layering with the Lasagna sheets, and until all the ingredients have finished.
I just wanted to mention back in those days, Lasagne sheets did not exist, both Maria and my mom used regular boiled pasta.
Finish topping with the leftover Olive Oil….and Oregano
Pop into the oven, and bake at 180 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. I hope you enjoy making and eating this recipe as much as my mom and I have been doing for so many years.