Streamlined Lasagna

This is the recipe that my mother made when I was growing up. It is not authentic in many ways, but it is delicious comfort food using ingredients that were readily available in a grocery store in the 1970s.

Servings: 6

1 Tbsp oil
½ cup onion, diced
1 lb ground beef
1 clove garlic, sliced
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
3 Tbsp parsley, chopped
15 oz can diced tomatoes
8 oz tomato sauce
8 oz lasagne noodles ( 8 slices)
4 oz Swiss cheese, sliced thin
1 ½ cups cottage cheese
parsley, chopped

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute onion until tender.
  2. Add ground beef, cook until browned.
  3. Mash garlic with salt and add to meat with pepper, oregano, parsley, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. If making ahead, refrigerate sauce until ready to assemble.
  5. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  6. Cook lasagne noodles until al dente. Drain & cover with cold water.
  7. Spread of sauce in a 9×13 pan. Top with half each of lasagne noodles, Swiss cheese (reserve 1 slice) & cottage cheese.
  8. Repeat, ending with remaining sauce and reserved cheese.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot & bubbly.
  10. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.
  • I prefer “petite diced” tomatoes which are cut into appx ½” pieces. You could also use fresh or frozen tomatoes.
  • You can substitute mozzarella for the Swiss cheese and ricotta for the cottage cheese for a more authentic dish.

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Goulash Soup

Adapted from The Ground Beef Cookbook by Joanne Waring Lindeman. I reduced the amount of meat and changed the seasoning.

Servings: 6

1 pound ground beef
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup potatoes*, chopped
1 cup carrots, sliced
½ cup celery, chopped
1 cup cabbage, shredded
2 – 15 oz cans diced tomatoes*, undrained
1 ½ cups water
1 cup rice*
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt, or to taste
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 ½ cups cheddar cheese*, grated

  1. Saute beef and onion in a hot large pot until browned. Drain fat.
  2. Add veggies and water. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add remaining ingredients except cheese. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour, or until rice and veggies are tender.
  4. Serve topped with cheese.
  • The potatoes and rice are not cooked before adding them to the pot.
  • I prefer “petite diced” tomatoes which are cut into appx ½” pieces.  You could also use fresh or frozen tomatoes.
  • Parmesan cheese is also very good on this soup.

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Dad’s Chili con Carne

This is my Dad, Steve ReVeal’s, recipe. I’m sure that he got the original recipe from a friend, but I don’t know who it was.  My father is a very good cook – his specialties are chili, pizza & Chinese food.

Makes about 3 quarts

2 lb ground beef
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped *
2 – 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
2 – 15 oz cans kidney beans or pinto beans, undrained *

  1. Brown ground beef. Drain off fat.
  2. Sprinkle chili powder, salt & sugar over beef. Mix well
  3. Add onion, bell pepper. Cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomato sauce, bay leaf & beans. Cover & simmer for 1 hour.
  5. Remove bay leaf before serving.
  • I do not add the bell pepper.
  • My dad always used kidney beans, but my husband doesn’t like them so we use pinto beans.

Green Chile Sauce with Meat

This recipe is from my mother’s friend Charlene Herman. The original recipe does not have amounts for many of the ingredients, so I am updating it to include them.

Servings: 6

1 lb hamburger
1 cup onion
4 Tbsp bacon fat or olive oil
4 Tbsp flour
1 cup hot water
1 beef bouillon cube
1 cup green chile, roasted, peeled & chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
salt, to taste

  1. Brown hamburger & remove from pan. Drain off fat.
  2. Add bacon fat or olive oil to pan. Add onion & cook until softened.
  3. Add garlic & cook just until fragrant.
  4. Add flour and stir until slightly browned.
  5. Add hot water, stirring constantly until well mixed.
  6. Add bouillon cube & cook until dissolved.
  7. Add chile. Salt to taste & simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Serve over pinto beans.
  • My mother always had a jar of bacon fat by the stove – she saved it every time she cooked bacon for breakfast. I don’t have this available (and probably wouldn’t use this much even if I did) so I use olive oil instead. If you want the bacon flavor, I would recommend chopping & cooking a couple slices of bacon and including the bacon as well as its fat in the recipe. Add enough olive oil to make a total of 4 Tbsp so that your sauce will be the right consistency.

Beef & Mushroom Pie

recipe adapted from Pet-Ritz recipe published in the late 70s

2 – 10″ pie crusts
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 can beef broth
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp parsley, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
3 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp water

  1. Heat oven to 400 F.
  2. Put 1 pie crust in a 10″ pie pan.
  3. Brown ground beef, onion and mushrooms. Drain.
  4. Stir in broth, Worcestershire & wine.
  5. Mix flour & water. Add to beef mixture.
  6. Simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  7. Pour into pie crust. Top with remaining crust. Seal edges & cut slits in top.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes or until browned.
  9. Serves 4-6.
  • Tastes like beef burgundy.

Meat Stuffing (for Zucchini or Bell Peppers)

This recipe is adapted from how my mother used to make it.  The measurements are not exact because a lot depends on how thick you want the stuffing to be and how much seasoning you like.

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
8 oz can tomato sauce
saltine crackers
dried basil
black pepper
salt

  1. Brown hamburger and onion.
  2. Add tomato sauce.
  3. Crumble in saltines until stuffing holds together.
  4. Season to taste with basil, pepper & salt.
  5. Stuff into parboiled or roasted zucchini (split & seeded) or par-roasted bell pepper halves.  Top with cheese.
  6. Bake at 350 F for about 20-30 minutes or until heated through and cheese it melted.
  • Precooking the zucchini or bell peppers makes sure the vegetables are done when the stuffing is. Otherwise they will still be hard while your stuffing is getting burned.

Judy’s Hamburger and Potato Stuff

recipe courtesy of Judy Trimarchi

2 lb ground beef
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 med potatoes, coarsely chopped

  1. Put a tea kettle of water on to heat up.
  2. Brown ground beef until fairly brown, keeping pieces fairly large.
  3. Towards end of browning process, throw in onions.
  4. When onions are soft, add garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add potatoes to pan and add water to cover the potatoes.
  6. Salt to taste.  Check the salt again during the cooking process as potatoes absorb a lot of salt as they cook.
  7. Bring to a low boil and cook until the potatoes are done but not falling apart.
  8. Serve in a shallow bowl, mash the potatoes when eating and let them absorb the broth.
  • Feeds 6-8
  • Judy says “the browner the meat, the better the broth”
  • I add fresh ground black pepper, also.

Judy’s Northern Chili

recipe courtesy of Judy Trimarchi

2 lb ground beef
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp chili powder
2 – 28oz. cans whole stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 – 16oz. cans light red kidney beans
salt, to taste

  1. Put a tea kettle of water on to heat up.
  2. Brown ground beef until fairly brown, keeping pieces fairly large.
  3. Towards end of browning process, throw in onions. When onions are soft, add garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add chili powder. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Open tomatoes and drain juice into pot. If using whole tomatoes, use kitchen shears to cut into large, bite-sized chunks and drop into pot.
  6. Add beans.
  7. Add hot water until you have a thick or thin soup, whichever you like.
  8. Salt to taste.
  9. Bring to low boil.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Serve with saltines or cornbread.
  • Keeps well in fridge or freezer.
  • Substitute canned or fresh diced tomatoes.
  • Substitute pinto or white beans.

Giuseppe Trimarchi’s Italian Thanksgiving Stuffing

family recipe from Judy Begley Trimarchi

1 onion, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 – 4 oz can mushrooms
1 – 28 oz can whole tomatoes
salt & pepper, to taste
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1-2 cups dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions

  1. Saute onions in olive oil in frying pan until onions start to lightly brown.
  2. Add ground beef and garlic. Stir until browned.
  3. Take mixture out of pan with slotted spoon and leave oil in pan.
  4. Rinse mushrooms in cold water and drain. Add to pan. Brown them slightly, push them to the side of the pan.
  5. Drain tomatoes and crush against side of bowl with fork.
  6. Add tomatoes to pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Add the ground beef mixture, salt and pepper to taste and let it simmer on low heat.
  8. In a mixing bowl, combine hard boiled eggs, 1 cup bread crumbs, Parmesan and garlic.
  9. Add crumb mixture to the meat mixture in frying pan and mix well.
  10. If the mixture appears too watery, add more bread crumbs until the mixture seems appropriate for a stuffing. Add more salt and/or pepper, if needed.
  11. Mix well.
  12. Cool mixture slightly before stuffing in turkey.
  13. If baking it separately, put in a large metal or glass baking dish about 1.5″ deep and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Since the meat and eggs are already cooked, the only concern is that it dry out a little and get a little crusty on top.

Judy says, “My husband’s name is Joseph Trimarchi – named after his grandfather, Giuseppe Trimarchi. In each generation, the oldest son of the oldest son names his firstborn boy after his grandfather – and so the generations go back from our son, Anthony Jordan, to my husband Joe, to his dad, Tony, to Guiseppe, to his father, Antonino, and so on – as far back as we can trace.

Guiseppe immigrated from Messina, Sicily in 1924 and eventually opened a deli near the waterfront in downtown Boston. Shipyard workers would come into the deli in the mornings to get fresh bread and cold cuts to take to work for their lunches. Guiseppe started hollowing out loaves of Italian bread and stuffing in the cold cuts to make it easier for the men to eat at the job site. He has been credited with inventing the sub sandwich!

This is his recipe for an Italian turkey stuffing. Double the recipe if you want to both stuff the turkey AND have some left over to bake in a pan. We often bake one recipe’s worth in a pan as a supplement to the traditional stuffing in our turkey. It is really delicious!!”

  • You can substitute canned chopped tomatoes for the whole tomatoes.

Indian Beef and Peas / Kheema

adapted from Spice Goddess – Bal Arneson

1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup dried curry leaves, crushed
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 tsp mustard seeds, crushed
1/2 tsp cardamom seeds, crushed
1 pound ground beef
1 pinch salt, to taste
1 cup frozen peas

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add ginger and onions and cook until softened and beginning to turn golden, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add curry leaves, garam masala, mustard seeds and cardamom seeds, and cook for 20 seconds.
  4. Add the ground beef, sprinkle with salt and stir to break up any chunks. Continue to cook until the beef is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  5. Stir in peas and cook until they turn bright green, about 2 minutes.
  6. Serve with flat bread or naan.
  • I prefer the spice seeds to be crushed to spread the flavor thru the dish a little more. If you prefer, you can leave them whole as Bal Arneson does.
  • The flavor may vary a little depending on the garam masala mix being used.