Thursday, September 01, 2005

Pepperoni Lasagna ©

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 a VERY 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.


4 TBS quality olive oil
4 Large garlic cloves
2 medium onions ¼ inch diced
2 green peppers ¼ inch diced
1 Lb whole mushrooms, sliced
2 Quarts whole, canned tomatoes
2 6-Oz cans of tomato paste
½ 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 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
Grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses

2 Packages of Barilla Lasagna noodles
Olive oil - 1 TBS


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 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.

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. When cooled, you can pour it into a food processing bowl and pulse a few times to make it a little smoother, OR you can leave the sauce chunky (as we like it.)

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.

When all is cooked 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 fantastic 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 approximaely 45-minutes. Remove the foil during the last 5-minutes of baking time.

This dinner/supper should be served with an Antipasto with lettuce, tomato, artichokes, black olives, diced Genoa salami, onion, 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) 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). Have some dry Marsala on hand, or servings of espresso to accompany the dessert.

(1) This is as close as one can 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. Store remaining powdered spice in a tight fitting lidded jar, and in the dark. The intensity of the ground leaves is much more flavorful.

LOL - be prepared to gain a few pounds.