by MELISSA GORDON
Happy New Year everyone! With the start of 2020, I’d like to welcome each of you into my store. That’s right, my store. I own Bluff Country Co-op along with more than 2,000 other community members. Together we own a store that offers something for everyone.
• If you don’t have time to cook, our hot bar, soup bar, or salad bar are your ticket.
• If you’re any excellent cook, and you need a special ingred ient, there’s a good chance we carry it.
• If you’re on a specific diet, we likely have a variety of food options that will satisfy you.
• If you are curious about trying out a new diet or simply trying different foods, our free cookbooks are a wonderful resource, as are our friendly staff, who can help answer your questions.
• If you feed a lot of folks, or you have a favorite product that you can never run out of, we offer case purchases at a discount.
• If you want to stick to a budget, our declining balance option is an excellent tool — as are our bulk section and co-op basics ingredients!
• If you are concerned about your environmental impact, we have local, organic, and package-free food options that will reduce your impact.
• If your faith teaches about social justice and concern for the poor, our fair-trade products ensure that you’re paying fair wages to those who provide your coffee, chocolate, and other goods.
• If you want to support our community, our Beans for Bags program and Community Fund make it easy!
• If you want to bolster our local economy, you’ll be happy to know that nearly one third of our sales goes to local products.
• If you’re a pet lover, we have high-quality pet food and supplies.
• If you’re interested in alternative medicine, more minimalistic body care products, or green cleaning supplies, we offer excellent choices.
The list goes on, but the message is this: You’re all invited and you’re all welcome!
Hearty Beef and Sausage Lasagna
By Robin Asbell for WelcomeToTheTable.coop
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1/2 pound Italian sausage, crumbled
• 1/2 pound ground beef
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 25 ounces tomato puree
• 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 2 pounds part-skim ricotta cheese
• 3 ounces (1 1/2 cups) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
• 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 pound lasagna noodles, uncooked
• 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400° F. Put on a large pot of salted water to boil for cooking the noodles. Prepare a 9 x 13-inch baking pan by lightly oiling it. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add the onions. Cook over medium-high heat until softened and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, sausage, beef, and salt, and increase the heat to high, stirring to crumble and brown the meat. When the meat is cooked, add the tomato puree, diced tomatoes, and oregano. Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until thick, about 10 minutes.
Cook enough noodles to make four layers of pasta in the pan — either 12 or 16 noodles, depending on their size. Undercook the noodles by three minutes; they will finish cooking when the lasagna is baked.
Meanwhile in medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, one cup Parmesan cheese, and eggs. Mix well.
Spread one cup sauce over the bottom of the 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Arrange three to four lasagna noodles in single layer. Spread two cups of the ricotta cheese mixture over noodles; dollop on 1 1/2 cups of spaghetti sauce. Arrange more noodles in single layer; press lightly into sauce. Top with two cups ricotta mixture, and 1 1/2 cups sauce, then place remaining noodles on top, pressing to make the noodles level. Spoon the remaining two cups of ricotta mixture over the noodles, cover with noodles, then cover with the remaining sauce, making sure to cover all the pasta completely. Sprinkle the mozzarella and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan over the sauce.
Bake 45 minutes or until the cheese is browned and the sauce is bubbling. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.