Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lasagne and Sugar Drop Cookies: First Recipes from Joy of Cooking!

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently received the fifth edition of Joy of Cooking from Juli.  I was so excited that I read the entire thing cover to cover this morning on the couch.  I decided to make the lasagne for dinner and while making the meat sauce, I decided to make the sugar drop cookies.  (Yes, normally on a menu this reads "lasagna" but Lasagne is technically correct as lasagne is the plural form of lasagna in Italian and you use more than one noodle!).   I promised Juli that I would post all of the recipes from the book to the blog, so here are the first two!  Enjoy!!!

Lasagne:  First make the meat sauce and then cook the lasagne noodles and assemble the lasagne
Meat Sauce Recipe:
Heat 1/2 cup olive oil (I would use slightly less next time)
1 pressed clove garlic

1 lb. ground round steak
1/4 lb. ground lean pork
2 cups Italian tomatoes (I used strained because Matt doesn't like whole tomatoes)
1/2 cup Italian tomato paste
1/2 cup beef or veal stock (I used beef stock)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
Simmer the sauce uncovered about 1 hour.  Add 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh basil or oregano and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Take 3/4 lb. Ricotta cheese, 1/3 lb. thinly sliced or crumbled Mozzarella cheese, 1/2 lb. grated Parmesan cheese.
Cook 3/4 lb. lasagne noodles al dente in salted water using about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the boiling water.  Stir occasionally.  Drain and separate the noodles.
Preheat oven to 350.
Spread a thin layer of the sauce, then a layer of pasta, in a baking dish.  Cover with a sprinkling of each of the three cheeses.  Spoon another layer of sauce over all then another layer of pasta placed crisscross and a layer of cheeses.  continue to build layers, reserving enough sauce to cover the final layer of pasta and enough Parmesan cheese to dust the top.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes.

Let stand briefly before cutting and serving.

Sugar Drop Cookies:
Preheat oven to 375.
Sift together:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg)


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil

Add to this mixture and beat well after each addition:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Add the flour mixture all at once and beat well.  Shape the dough into teaspoon size balls and dip the balls in granulated sugar.
Bake about 10 to 12 minutes on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

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