Skip to main content

Featured Post

My cookbook: "Tehran to New York"

On the Norouz day of 2020 spring, I finally published my book. The manuscript is titled: "Tehran to New York: A culinary bridge between Persian and Western cultures" and aims at presenting a unique blend of classic and contemporary Persian recipes, as well as samples of Western-style cuisine, offered in a Persian context. It is important to build bridges between cultures, and not walls. This book aims at constructing a bridge between the Persian and Western cultures. The book may be ordered here:
https://www.amazon.com/Tehran-New-York-culinary-cultures-ebook/dp/B0861H47GS/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=tehran+to+new+york&qid=1584810930&sr=8-1

Iranian/American style lasagna, a saucy pasta with no sauce

Compared to its authentic Italian counterparts, the Persian style pasta has significantly less sauce. Similar to the Persian style rice, Persian pasta is parboiled, mixed with meat sauce, and then steamed on low heat. The long cooking procedure results in the formation of Tah-dig (the crispy noodle layer on the bottom), as shown below. Being slightly overcooked, the final pasta noodles are dry and well beyond Al dente. The Persian style meat sauce is also simple, only flavored with dried herbs like oregano and fresh parsley.

My third aunt, a Persian expatriate in Philadelphia and for the past forty years, has somehow manged to combine her Persian love for drier pasta with the Philadelphia's brotherly love for sliced American cheese. The result is an amazing lasagna which has no Mornay sauce, nor does it have a  ricotta layer; all it has, is layer after layer of meat and cheese.     

Ingredients:
Meat sauce (recipe follows)
10 sheets of lasagna noodle (no-boil type)  
20 slices of American cheese
Meat ragu:
1.65 Pounds (~750 gr) 85/15 ground beef
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 TBSP garlic, grated
2 TBSP tomato paste
¼ TSP oregano powder
¼ TSP Cayenne
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped

Start the meat ragu by browning the meat (without added external oil). Saute the onion, garlic, and pepper in the oil which was released from the beef. When the vegetables are translucent, add the tomato paste, oregano, Cayenne, parsley, and 1 cup of water. Cover the pan, reduce to heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes.
Assemble the dish by first laying a layer of dry sheets of lasagna. Evenly spread the meat ragu, followed a layer of cheese slices.
Repeat the process until 5 layers of noodles are formed.
Cover the pan with a piece of aluminum foil. Cook in preheated 400 F (~205 C) for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a farther 10 minutes.
This lasagna showcases beautiful slices with sharp edges.

Comments