RECIPE: Chef shows love of Georgia in his lasagna

Chase Todaro's Lasagna
Courtesy of Lasagna Love South.
Chase Todaro's Lasagna Courtesy of Lasagna Love South.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Chase Todaro is a longtime Atlanta chef who has worked at Rathbun’s and Restaurant Eugene. Currently, he is the chef-owner of Blink Catering service.

During the pandemic, he partnered with Lasagna Love, a nonprofit that tasks volunteers with baking lasagnas for families in need.

“My friend’s mom does a lot of volunteer work, and she reached out to me and gave me the challenge of coming up with a Georgia-inspired lasagna, and she wanted peaches to be in it,” Todaro said.

Besides Georgia peaches, his recipe features other local ingredients, including boiled peanuts.

It’s a bit of a turn on the usual lasagna, Todaro said. “The peaches really come out when you add the peanuts to the sauce.”

ExploreRECIPE: Feeling and fueling the lasagna love with a lighter version

Chef Chase Todaro Smiles with his Lasagna
Courtesy of Lasagna Love South.
Chef Chase Todaro Smiles with his Lasagna Courtesy of Lasagna Love South.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Georgia Lasagna Love
  • For the short ribs:
  • 2 pounds bone-in short ribs
  • ½ head of celery, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups Coca-Cola
  • 5 peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • flour for dredging
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • For the meat sauce:
  • 1 36-ounce jar of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup of the shredded short ribs
  • 2 cups of basil leaves
  • 1 cup of shelled boiled peanuts
  • 4 peaches, pitted and chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Dredge the short ribs in flour, place in a large pan with the vegetable oil, and sear until evenly browned on all sides.
  • Remove the short ribs and reduce the heat to medium. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add red wine to deglaze the pan.
  • Return the short ribs to the pan and add the Coca-Cola, peaches and chicken stock.
  • Bring to a boil, then cover the pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 2½ hours. The meat will fall from the bone when it is done.
  • Chill the cooked short ribs in the braising liquid. Once completely cool, shred the short rib meat and reserve for the meat sauce.
  • In a sauce pot, brown the ground beef, adding the minced garlic about halfway through the browning process.
  • While the meat is browning, add the tomato sauce, peanuts, basil and peaches to a blender and pulse until everything is incorporated.
  • Add the sauce from the blender to the beef in the pan, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 1 hour, stirring often.
  • After 1 hour, add the shredded short rib to the sauce, cook for another 15 minutes, and remove from the heat. Chill the sauce until ready to use.

  • For the cheese mixture:
  • Stir together:
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • Additional ingredients:
  • 12 lasagna noodles, either fresh noodles from White Bull in Decatur or store-bought
  • shredded mozzarella cheese for topping
  • freshly torn basil for garnish
  • Assembly: Spray two 8-inch square pans with cooking spray.
  • Spoon the sauce to cover the bottom of the pans.
  • Place three noodles over the sauce, then spread the cheese mixture and another layer of sauce.
  • Repeat this process until all the ingredients are incorporated in the layering.
  • Cover the pans with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
  • Uncover and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese and garnish with freshly torn basil.
  • Bake uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Serves 12

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 611 calories (percent of calories from fat, 52), 36 grams protein, 38 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber, 35 grams total fat (14 grams saturated), 138 milligrams cholesterol, 487 milligrams sodium.
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