ricotta cheese

Lasagna without noodles

You might think this recipe makes no sense.  Lasagna, without lasagna noodles?  Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.  I have been so hungry for lasagna.  I am avoiding sugar and carbohydrates.  I didn’t feel like messing with zucchini so I adapted my lasagna recipe and made it without noodles.  The flavor was wonderful and the noodles were not missed at all.  It was very easy to assemble.  The leftovers were amazing.  I hope you like this as much as the Butcher and I did.


Group 1
1 to 1 1/2 pounds of sausage (available at your local meat market)
1 to 1 1/2 pounds of extra lean ground beef (available at your local butcher shop)
2 Tablespoons Granulated Garlic
1 Tablespoon Parsley Flakes
1 Tablespoon Basil Flakes
32 oz. can of tomato puree
16 oz. can of tomato paste

Group 2
2) 15 oz. container of Ricotta Cheese
2 to 3 beaten eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons of Parsley Flakes
8 oz. of Parmesan Cheese (available at your local meat market)
1 pound of grated Provolone/Mozzarella Cheese (available at your local butcher shop)

Remove sausage from casing. I used several varieties (Hot Italian, Mild Italian, and Butcher’s Wife Sausage). Place the sausage in a 5 to 6 quart roasting pan and place over medium heat. Stir until sausage is starting to brown. Mix in the Extra Lean Ground Beef and cook until all the meat is cooked thoroughly. Add the Garlic, Basil and Parsley Flakes and stir into the browned meat. Add the Tomato Puree and the Tomato Paste (you can also use 2 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce–I would still use the garlic) and stir. Simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.

Put the eggs in a large bowl. Add the 2 containers of  Ricotta Cheese, the Parsley Flakes, the salt and pepper and mix together with the eggs.

Spray the bottom of a 9 X 13 baking dish with a “no stick” spray. Take 1/2 of the Group 2 filling and layer it in the bottom of the baking dish. Put 1/2 pound of the grated Provolone/Mozzarella Cheese on top of the Ricotta cheese filling. Put 1/2 of the Sauce with meat on top of the grated cheese. Repeat the layer ending with the Sauce.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the Lasagna for 45 to 50 minutes. The grated cheese should be bubbling through the sauce when it is done.

I can guarantee this will be a family favorite. Leftovers will freeze nicely for a quick lunch or dinner.

That’s all for now. Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

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Well, here we are the first day of November and it is still “Indians” Summer. I can hardly work today–I am so excited about the Indians Mauri-1playing in the World Series tonight with the opportunity to win it all! Last Tuesday, we were just getting started with game 1. After taking the initial game, Chicago took the second game and that meant we were heading to Chicago tied at one game each. No one expected the Indians to storm into Chicago and take 2 out of the 3 games, and come back to Cleveland leading the series 3 games to 2. I will be cheering them on from home, but make sure if you are at the game tonight your presence is known. Cheer them on every play and don’t even bother sitting down. They are going to need you tonight!


Group I – Sauce
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 clove minced garlic
1 Tablespoon parsley flakesphoto (47)
1 Tablespoon basil flakes
1 29 oz. can tomato puree
16 oz. can tomato paste
6 large lasagna noodles (cooked according to package, run under water to cool, and set aside)

Group II – Filling
12 oz. cottage cheese
16 oz. Ricotta cheese
2 beaten eggs
2 Tablespoon parsley flakesphoto (46)
8 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. grated Mozzarella cheese

Brown beef and sausage; cook until done. Drain off fat. Add the rest of the ingredients in Group I and simmer. With the exception of Mozzarella cheese, mix all the ingredients in Group II. Take a 9 X 13 inch pan and spray with Mazola no stick. Put 3 noodles in the bottom of the pan, layer with cheese mixture (Group II). Put 1/2 pound Mozzarella cheese on top, then 1/2 of the sauce mixture (Group I). Repeat in same order. Bake at 359 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. The Mozzarella will be bubbling through when it is done.photo (48)

Allow to set for 10 minutes then cut and serve.

I saw Francisco Lindor’s mom making lasagna on one of the sports programs. I have looked high and low for the recipe. If you see it will you please forward it to me?

In the meantime, enjoy the “Indians” summer days and cheer on the Tribe! Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your table.


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Spaghetti Squash lasagna

Those of you that know me know that I don’t need an excuse to make a healthyMauri-1 lasagna alternative. I have long been a fan of spaghetti squash. It is easy to cook and you get the benefits of having “pasta” without the guilt. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Spaghetti Squash (3 small to medium spaghetti squash)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
4 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheesespaghetti-squash
2 Tablespoons granulated garlic
1 egg
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley (or basil)
1 cup whole milk shredded mozzarella cheese

World Classic Marinara Pasta Sauce (available at your local meat market)
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small sweet onion chopped
1 pound fresh Italian Sausage (out of casing– mild or hot) available at your local butcher shop

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and membrane. Season lightly with salt and black pepper. Bake about 1 hour cut side down. Remove from oven. Let the spaghetti squash cool for 10 minutes. Keep the oven on 400 degrees.

In a bowl combine ricotta cheese, egg, garlic, parmesan cheese and spaghetti-squash-lasagna-2parsley (or basil).

In a roasting pan heat the Olive Oil on Medium High heat. Add the onion and saute for 2 to 3 minutes stirring constantly. Add sausage to onion and cook on low until sausage is thoroughly cooked. Add the Marinara Sauce and heat through.

When the spaghetti squash has cooled enough to handle, use a fork to remove the flesh, which will come out in spaghetti looking strands. Reserve the shells (or place mixture in a baking dish). Drain the squash on a paper towel to soak up any excess liquid, then toss with half of the sauce. Place the spaghetti squash back into the 6 shells and place on a baking sheet. Top each with the remaining sauce, 1/6th of the Ricotta mixture, and 2 1/2 oz. shredded Mozzarella cheese. Bake in the 400 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and everything is heated through.

Hope you enjoy this dish. It is the perfect time to find spaghetti squash.

Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.


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Eggplant Parmesan/Lasagna

I don’t know why I have been on such an Italian kick lately. It really doesn’t take much to put me in the mood for Mauri-1Italian cooking. When you use vegetables in place of pasta it makes a healthier, lighter meal for your family to enjoy.

Eggplants are plentiful right now so it is the perfect time to make this delicious dish.

Eggplant Parmesan/Lasagna

2 Eggplants
2 jars of World Classic’s Marinara Sauce (available at your local Meat Market)
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese (more for garnish)beef and marinara sauce
2 eggs
15 oz. of Ricotta Cheese
2 Tablespoons of fresh chives
2 Tablespoons of granulated garlic
16 oz. of grated provolone/mozzarella cheese
1 Pound lean ground beef browned and drained (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut off the top and bottom of the eggplants. Slice the eggplants in 1/4″ slices. Discard the end pieces which have the skin on them. Lightly salt both sides of the eggplant slices and allow them to rest for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes blot them dry with a paper towel. Put parchment paper on a cookie sheet and place the eggplant slices on the cookie sheet. Cook the eggplant slices in the oven for 20 minutes.

While the eggplant is cooking, Mix the cooked lean ground beef with 1 1/2 jars of the sauce. In a separate bowl, mix together the Ricotta cheese,Parmesan cheese, chives, garlic, eggs and 4 oz. of the grated provolone/mozzarella Eggplant 2cheese.

Pour 1/2 jar of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9 X 13 and an 8 X 8 inch baking dish.

Remove the baked eggplant slices from the oven and allow them to cool to the touch. Increase the temperature of the oven to 400 degrees. Place a tablespoon (or more) of the Ricotta cheese mixture in the center of the baked eggplant and roll them up. Place the seam side down in the dish with the Marinara Sauce. Repeat this process until all of the eggplant slices are filled. Cover the eggplant slices with the Marinara Sauce with the ground beef (optional) and cover with the remaining provolone/mozzarella cheese.

Cook the eggplant in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.eggplant 1

Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

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