Home Cooking Aboard Galley Gourmet: Savory Treats for Winter

Galley Gourmet: Savory Treats for Winter

by Bridget Charters

The New Year has passed, but the cold weather remains. El Niño is gone and La Niña is in! We are hunkered down in full winter mode with time on our hands, so off to the galley with you to build some delicious lasagnas. Call your buddies to come at six on Saturday for an amazing dinner and bring red! Even if you are not living on your boat, it is fun to take excursions down to the marina and plan a football party, or gather friends and family for a cozy afternoon together. Everything is so much more fun on the water.

Lasagnas are traditional to Italy, but other countries have their versions. All require a bit of work, but grocery stores now carry fresh or dried pasta sheets, delicious tomatoes, pasta sauces, and wonderful cheeses to make the job easier. Vegetables are a great addition to, or main item in, lasagnas, which can be paired with cheese or sausage as a delicious alternative to the traditional lasagnas. Vegetables can also be the pasta, using strips of root vegetables or zucchini, or leaves of blanched greens. Lasagnas for those of us in America are traditionally red sauce, cheese, and ground meat or sausage. In Italy, lasagnas range from tomato and meat to tomato and cheese in the south, to northern, Bologna-style lasagnas with meat ragu and béchamel sauce, or individual lasagnas with mushrooms and cream sauce or a bit of pesto and tomato sauce with cheese. The variations are endless! Since you are going to the trouble, make two or three lasagnas and freeze them. They store beautifully, can be stacked once frozen, and can easily be built in disposable foil pans so as not to tie up your cooking pans. Cooking a fresh lasagna only takes about 40 minutes in a 350-degree oven. If you are cooking a frozen lasagna, allow an hour to cook from frozen.

Lasagna is the main course for a meal, so serve a few vegetables alongside with a nice salad for dinner. If you have decided to make small, individual lasagnas, they would be served before a nice roast pork or beef dinner if you decide to go fancy. Individual lasagnas are easy to put together and can be held on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator to bake just before dinner. They are similar to cannelloni or a stuffed shell. Whichever lasagna you decide to make, any will be the star of the show and make a delicious meal. Call your friends, plan the winter party, and hit the stores!

Making the Sauces


  • 1 clove garlic
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes-optional
  • 2 slices prosciutto, finely minced
  • 1 filet of anchovies, minced
  • 1 lb. packet of veal, beef, and pork combination
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • Italian Parsley
  • 1 small can of peeled tomatoes, mashed
  • 1 carrot, small dice
  • 1 stalks celery, small dice
  • 1 yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 cup cream to finish

Smash the garlic and sauté in 1/4 cup of olive oil. As the garlic starts to color, add the red pepper flakes and anchovies. Add the meat combo and sauté until cooked. Drain off some of the juice, increase the heat, and deglaze with wine. Add bay leaf and simmer. Adjust seasoning.

Sauté the carrots, onions, and celery in another pan and allow to sweat. Once translucent, increase the heat, and add the chopped herbs. Sauté until the herbs begin to crackle, add the tomatoes, and add to the meat mixture. Allow to cook for an hour or so. Add more water if necessary, the longer it cooks the better.


  • 28 ounces canned tomatoes, blended
  • 1 cup celery, small dice
  • 1 cup carrots, small dice
  • 1 cup onions, small dice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Sauté vegetables in olive oil until tender. Season and add garlic. Allow garlic to toast, and then add pureed tomatoes into the pot. Simmer sauce until it starts to thicken for about two hours. Adjust seasoning at the end with salt
and pepper.

Mushroom Ragu

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup medium Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 3/4 pound mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup basic marinara sauce (see above)
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper

In a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil over high heat, add the onions, and cook over high heat for five minutes until onions are light golden brown. Add the mushroom pieces and continue cooking until they have given up most of their water, about nine to ten more minutes. Add the wine and the tomato sauce. Butter and salt and pepper to taste, and then reduce heat to medium. Cook for five more minutes until mixture is of a ragu consistency.


  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 ounces flour
  • 2 ounces butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Nutmeg to taste

Melt the butter, add the flour, and cook together for a few minutes. Gradually add the milk and season. Allow to cook for 20 minutes to an hour on low heat, stirring frequently. Sieve if necessary.

Making the Dishes

Lasagna Bolognese

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups béchamel sauce
  • 2 cups Bolognese sauce
  • 4 8-ounce balls of fresh Mozzarella, diced (or substitute grated mozzarella)
  • 2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

Bring about six quarts of water to a boil and add two tablespoons salt. Set up an ice bath next to the stove top. Cut the pasta into 20, five-inch squares and drop into the boiling water. Cook one minute, until tender. Drain well and refresh in the ice bath. Drain on towels and set aside.

For assembly: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a brownie pan, assemble the lasagna, beginning with a layer of ragu, then a layer of pasta with a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano, alternating layers of pasta with the different fillings. Repeat the two above layers two more times to create six layers, and finish with a layer of pasta, a thin coating of béchamel sauce, and a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano for this recipe.

Build all of the following recipes in a similar fashion, alternating various sauces with different types of cheese. Feel free to improvise to build your best lasagna! What is most important is that the finished lasagna isn’t too dry.

Bake in the oven covered with parchment paper and foil for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the covering and cook until the edges are browned and the sauces are bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow cooling for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with a light coating of tomato sauce or béchamel sauce and Parmigiano cheese. Serves four.

Lasagna Bolognese

Squash and Toasted Sage Lasagna

Squash and Toasted Sage Lasagna

(For a 9×13 baking dish)

  • 1 large butternut squash, about 5 lbs, cut in half and roasted
  • 10 fresh sheets of pasta
  • 4 cups béchamel sauce
  • 1 bunch of sage, leaves removed from stems
  • 2 cups grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 2 cups Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Soft butter for the pan

Follow the instructions for building a lasagna in the above recipe for Lasagna Bolognese, but substitute the squash for the meat sauce. Finish the squash lasagna with a final layer of pasta and béchamel sauce, then when the lasagna is done, sprinkle toasted sage leaves on top for garnish.

Note: To toast sage leaves, heat a half inch of olive oil in a small sauté pan. As the oil gets hot, sprinkle in the sage leaves and toast until crispy. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and cool. Once cooled, sprinkle on the pasta or add to the layers of the lasagna.

Tomato, Sausage, and
Mozzarella Lasagna

(For a 9×13 baking dish)

  • 10 fresh sheets of pasta, or use boxed strips of cooked lasagna noodles (two boxes of 12 noodles)
  • Marinara sauce
  • 8 ounce ball of Fresh Mozzarella, or 4 cups grated
  • 2 cups grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • Olive oil for the pan

Follow the assembly directions above. Top final layer with Marinara sauce.

Tomato, Sausage, and Mozzarella Lasagna

Individual Mushroom Lasagna

Individual Mushroom Lasagna

  • Sheets of fresh pasta – 5, 3-inch squares per person
  • 2 cups béchamel sauce
  • 2 cups mushroom ragu
  • 2 cups Parmigiano cheese
  • Soft butter for the cookie sheet
  • Parchment square for under the pasta

Build the individual lasagnas on large squares of parchment or on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet. Butter the parchment and lay out four pasta squares on a regular-sized baking sheet.

Top with mushroom ragu and sprinkling of cheese, square of pasta, béchamel sauce, cheese, pasta, ragu, and cheese. Repeat; there should be five layers, and the last layer should be topped with béchamel and cheese. Bake lasagnas at 350 degrees uncovered for about 15- 20 minutes. Top with fresh béchamel and a sprinkling of cheese.

You may also like

Leave a Comment