tomato paste

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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Spaghetti and Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash in the Crock Pot

We are definitely in the “comfort food” season in Northeast Ohio.  I have not quite adjusted to the bone chilling weather we have been having lately.  Luckily, there are more Crock Pot meals to warm your bones than there are cold days.  I like today’s recipe because everything is done in one pot and that is always a bonus.  Don’t be afraid to make modifications to this recipe to fit your family’s taste buds.

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash in the Crock Pot

1 pound of meatballs cooked (can be frozen, just make sure they are cooked)
24 oz. jar of Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce (available at your local meat market
12 oz. can of Pizza Sauce (available at your local butcher shop
4 Tablespoons of grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Tablespoons of Granulated Garlic
1 Tablespoon of Dried Oregano
8 oz. can of Tomato Paste
small spaghetti squash cut around the middle with the seeds removed (scrape out with a spoon)
Optional for your Spaghetti Sauce
1 onion (peeled and diced)
2 cups of cleaned and sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 pounds of Smoked Sausage cut in 2 inch pieces (available at your local meat market

Place the meatballs and sausage (if you are using) in the bottom of the crock pot. Place onions, mushrooms (if you are using) on top of the meat. Cover with the remaining sauce and spices. Stir together. Place the 2 halves of the spaghetti squash on top of the sauce (cut side down) and put the lid on the crock pot. Place the setting to high and cook for 4 1/2 hours to 5 hours. Remove the Spaghetti squash halves from the crock pot and put the setting on low. Wear kitchen gloves when handling the spaghetti squash because it will be hot. Use a fork to scrape the “spaghetti” out of the squash shell.  The “spaghetti” will be al dente.

Serve the Spaghetti sauce over the Spaghetti Squash. A healthy, easy meal and no one needs to be the wiser. Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.


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Chicken Tikka Masala

Gourmet cooking can be so much fun especially when someone else has done the hard work for you.  I am sharing another recipe from Karen’s Spice Kitchen.  Her spice blends are now available at your local meat market.  Entertaining is super easy if you have Karen’s Spice blends on hand with a few staples.

Chicken Tikka Masala

1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed (you can use 2 Tablespoons of granulated garlic)
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
2 1/2 pounds of chicken breast filet cut into 1″ cubes (available at your local butcher shop)
2 Tablespoons of lime or lemon juice
1 can of coconut milk
1 small can of tomato paste
1 cup of chicken broth

In a 4 or 5 quart pot cook the diced onions in the oil until transparent over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Turn down the heat to low and add the contents of the larger spice packet. Cook for another few seconds, stirring constantly. Add the chicken pieces and mix until coated with the onion/garlic/spice mixture. Turn off the heat and add the lemon/lime juice, coconut milk, tomato paste and chicken broth. Mix together. Turn the heat on low and simmer while covered for 40 to 50 minutes. Stir in additional water if the sauce is too thick.

This is excellent served over rice or riced cauliflower.

Leftovers are amazing. 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 (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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