This week in Chef Chat we've been talking with Chris Costantino of Costantino's Kitchen. His line of handmade gourmet sauces and seasonings began with one recipe, a recipe for tomato basil pasta sauce he learned from his Grandma Angie.
Today, you can find his line of products at farmers markets around the Valley as well as at Tom's Thumb Fresh Market in Scottsdale. For more details, you can check out the Costantino's Kitchen website.
Now, we're sharing his recipes for lasagna and pasta salad, both of which feature his low-sodium, gluten-free products.
Lasagna Bolognese YIELD: 6 servings
MEAT SAUCE: 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 pound ground beef 1 pound Italian sausage ½ cup red wine ½ cup whole milk salt and pepper 2 16oz jars Costantino's Kitchen Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
CHEESE SAUCE: 5 tablespoons unsalted butter ¼ cup flour 3 cups milk 4 ounces mozzarella cheese -- shredded 2 teaspoons salt ½ teaspoon nutmeg -- grated
FOR ASSEMBLY: Cooking spray 12 sheets no-boil lasagna noodles 1 cup parmesan cheese -- freshly grated 4 ounces mozzarella cheese -- shredded
MAKE MEAT SAUCE: Heat the olive oil in a hot pan. Place the beef and sausage in the middle of the pan and stir to break it up. Cook until all the meat has browned nicely. Add the wine and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Add the milk and cook until it has evaporated. Add all the pasta sauce except ½ cup and simmer for a further two to three minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
MAKE CHEESE SAUCE: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add the milk to the butter mixture, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and slowly whisk in the 4 oz mozzarella until completely incorporated. Season with salt and nutmeg.
ASSEMBLE: Preheat the oven to 350º. Spray a 9x13" pan with cooking spray. Place the reserved ½ cup pasta sauce in a thin layer on the bottom. Cover with a layer of pasta. Add 1/3 of the meat sauce, topped with ¼ of the cheese sauce, followed by ¼ cup parmesan cheese. Repeat twice, using the remaining cheese sauce on the top layer. Add the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan, followed by the 4 ounces of mozzarella. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the casserole is bubbling. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 20 minutes, slice, and serve.
DRESSING: 2 tablespoons Champagne wine vinegar 1 tablespoon Costantino's Kitchen Italian Herb Blend 6 tablespoons Costantino's Kitchen Mild Garlic Oil
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SALAD: 16 ounces tricolor rotini pasta, cooked and cooled 1 red pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces 1 yellow pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces ½ pound crimini mushrooms, quartered 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved ¼ pound cheese, cut in ½" cubes ¼ pound hard salami, cut in chunks ¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted ¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper
MAKE DRESSING: Place vinegar and herb blend into a blender jar and let sit for 15 minutes. Turn on the blender and slowly drizzle in oil.
MAKE SALAD: Toss all ingredients with dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve cold.