Feb 27, 2006

Guest Blogger #11 - Recipes For The Future

I'd like to welcome Bryan as my guest blogger today. His blog Recipes For The Future contains lots of great recipes along with delicious looking pics. Take a look, I think you'll enjoy it :)


I think everyone in the world has their own lasagna recipe; this particular recipe has at least one ingredient that is not presently available - so far as I know right now. BUT, you can make your own - the recipe is at the end. Spice Islands had a Spaghetti Sauce Seasoning (1) that makes good sauce better; a great sauce, incomparable! They stopped making it a few years back. They got so many requests for it, that the company started making it again for a while; then once again, stopped production. I bought a case of the jars when I was emailed that it once again would go out of production. The Spaghetti Sauce Seasoning, combined with Spice Islands Italian Herb (still in production) is a match beyond your wildest tastes.

This is a large recipe for a 12” x 18” x 3 pan. It will feed at least 10 people - and maybe more. It freezes well if you have leftovers. The recipe can be cut in half for a smaller portion. Pasta has the tendency to dry out when reheated in an oven or even a microwave oven. To get a nice, moist re-heated serving, you can place the serving(s) in a steamer that is placed in a large pot with a tightly fitted lid with about 2-3 cups of water for about 10-minutes after the water comes to a boil.



4 TBS quality olive oil
4 Large garlic cloves
2 medium onions 1¼ inch diced
2 green peppers 1¼ inch diced
1 Lb whole mushrooms, sliced
2 Quarts whole, canned tomatoes
2 6-Oz cans of tomato paste
1½ Cup sweet Marsala wine
2 TBS Spice Islands Spaghetti Sauce Seasoning
2 TBS Spice Island Italian Herbs
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 package of pre-sliced pepperoni(1)
1 Lb. lean ground beef
1 Lb bulk Italian sausage or sausages removed from the casings

2 1-Lb containers of ricotta cheese
1 Lb shredded mozzarella cheese
Fresh Grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses

2 Packages of Barilla Lasagna noodles
Olive oil - 1 TBS
4 Quarts water (2)


In a large pot, heat olive oil, then add finely chopped garlic buds. Sautee until golden, then add diced onion, green pepper, ground black pepper, Italian herb, salt, and sugar. Sautee until soft, then add sliced mushrooms. Sautee on high for 5-minutes.

(*)In a separate pan or small pot, bring 2-cups of water to a boil, and then add the sliced pepperoni. Remove from heat, and let sit for 10-minutes. Drain off water and grease; dry on paper towel. Slice pepperoni rounds in half, then in half again so you end up with quarters. Add to the onion/pepper mix; stir well. Boiling the pepperoni removes excess grease

In another large pan, brown the ground beef; drain, add to sauce. Brown sausage; drain, and add to sauce.

Add tomatoes, tomato paste, seasonings, and the wine. Stir well breaking up the whole canned tomatoes, bring to a boil then turn heat to very low, and simmer for a few hours stirring every so often until it thickens. Once the sauce is thick, remove from heat and let cool.

Boil the lasagna noodles according to manufactures directions. Drain, rinse, pat dry with paper towels, and cover the noodles so they don'’t dry out. Be careful not to break the shells.

When all is cooked, cooled, and ready, start building the lasagna.


1. Oil the pan, then spread a thin layer of the sauce.
2. A layer of noodles.
3. Sauce, even dollops of ricotta (heaping tablespoons)
4. A sprinkling of mozzarella
5. Sprinkle parmesan and Romano cheeses

Repeat layers until all the ingredients are used. The top layer should be sauce, some shredded mozzarella, and a sprinkling of Parmesan and Romano cheeses.

Cover with tin foil and bake at 325F. for approximately 45-minutes. Remove the foil during the last 5-minutes of baking time.

This meal should be served with an Antipasto: lettuce, tomato, artichokes, black olives, diced Genoa salami, onion, diced green pepper, diced Provolone cheese, olive oil, a little vinegar of your choice, and grated Romano cheese as a precursor to the meal, REAL garlic bread (Posted at www.secretfoods.blogspot.com along with many other recipes) and a large quantity of a good quality Chianti - either white or red.

If you have the time and the ingredients, make canolli or a cassata (both posted at www.secretfoods.blogspot.com ). Have some sweet Marsala on hand, or servings of espresso to accompany the dessert.

(1) This is as close as one will get to The Spice Islands Spaghetti Sauce seasoning:

3-1/2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon summer savory
1-1/2 teaspoons rosemary
1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
4-1/4 teaspoons onion powder
1-1/2 teaspoons ground marjoram
2-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
4 teaspoons ground basil
1 TBS Porcini mushroom powder

If you can't find the powders called for, get the leaf varieties. Put the mix in a coffee bean grinder and run it until you have a fine powder. You may have to do this in separate batches. The final Seasoning powder calls for 1 TBS per batch of sauce. For the ABOVE sauce recipe, use 2 tsp - it's a little more potent than Spice Islands, but has the wonderful flavor of the original. Store the remaining powdered spice in a tight fitting lidded jar, and in a dark place. The intensity of the ground leaves is much more flavorful.

(2) I like to use bottled spring water in all cooking and baking projects as opposed to tap water. Tap water normally contains a lot of minerals (calcium, lime, chlorine, etc.) that can and will change the flavors.


Cyndi said...

Hmmm. Pepperoni in lasagna? I guess I can't knock it unless I've tried it. I love the Italian sausage--your recipe looks yummy! I know what you mean about stocking up on something when you know you won't be able to get it. I left Germany with a huge package of schwenkbraten seasoning; now I need to find a source for some more!

Michele said...

Cyndi my lasanga recipe has pepperoni in it too, it's very tasty!

Bryan said...

Pepperoni adds the 3-D to a two dimensional lasagna. I've never tasted a lasagna that didn't have merit - they are all good.

On another note, CYNDI - I may have the recipe for schwenkbraten seasoning buried in my archives. I will look for it and post here when and if I cn find it.

Anonymous said...

I've been eating "Spice Islands" spaghetti since I was a child (in the '50s) When I couldn't find it at the stores I went online and bought 15 bottles which I've been hoarding. I just opened my last bottle yesterday.
Thank you for the formula, I had received it from Spice Islands, but they left out the Mushroom powder so I knew it wasn't right.

Anonymous said...

I am the happiest person in the world, to find this recipe for the spice island spaghetti sauce seasoning. When I ran out, I thought I would die when I found out they were no longer making it. My spaghetti has never been the same. I always had so many compliments on it, but not anymore.You are a blessing. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou! Margaret