Kitchen Insider: Chef Christopher Costantino – Costantino’s Kitchen

Christopher Costantino_smThis month, step into the kitchen of chef Christopher Costantino of Costantino’s Kitchen. His recipe for Classic Lasagna brings together the flavors of family tradition.

Originally from Wyoming but an Arizona resident for over 20 years, Christopher Costantino has always had a passion for food since learning family recipes as a child. After his move to Arizona and a successful sales and management career, Costantino left corporate America to pursue his culinary dreams full-time and in 2011 opened Costantino’s Kitchen, a product line of Italian pasta sauces, infused garlic oils, hot sauces, home-style soups and herb and spice blends.

Featuring his Grandma Angie’s famous tomato basil recipe, and other Costantino family recipes dating back five generations to Italy, Costantino’s Kitchen has grown from online sales to now also being available in AJ’s and Sprouts statewide and various Whole Foods throughout the greater Phoenix area.

The chef recently released two new flavors to its line of pasta sauces, Crimini Mushroom with Roasted Garlic and Artichoke with Sun Dried Tomatoes.

“While my Grandma Angie’s Tomato Basil sauce is a crowd pleaser, there are so many other sauce recipes our family has used over the generations,” says chef/owner Christopher Costantino.

The savory crimini mushroom sauce features a blend of San Marzano style tomatoes with fresh and roasted garlic, earthy crimini mushrooms and porcini mushroom powder to provide an extra boost of “umami.” Whereas the Artichoke with Sun Dried Tomatoes offers an almost sweet vegetable flavor with a blend of San Marzano style tomatoes with fresh garlic, artichoke hearts and sun dried tomatoes.

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Classic Lasagna

Makes 8 servingsLasagna_sm


2 tablespoons Costantino’s Kitchen Garlic Oil {Mild}
½ pound sweet Italian sausage, casings discarded
½ pound ground beef
½ pound ground veal (or pork)
2 jars Costantino’s Kitchen Tomato/Basil Pasta Sauce
salt and pepper to taste


1 pound ricotta cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
¼ cup Italian parsley, minced
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


16 no-boil lasagna noodles
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ pound mozzarella, shredded

MAKE SAUCE: Brown sausage, beef, and veal in garlic oil, breaking up larger pieces, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add pasta sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is heated, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.

MAKE FILLING: Combine all ingredients well.

ASSEMBLE: Put a rack in the middle of oven and preheat oven to 375ºF. Spread a thin layer sauce on the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles, slightly overlapping, over sauce, then spread one third of the ricotta mixture over noodles. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons Parmesan over ricotta, then spread one fourth sauce over Parmesan. Repeat noodles, ricotta, parmesan, sauce two more times. Top with remaining 4 noodles, then spread with remaining sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella. Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray and cover lasagna. Bake for

40 minutes. Remove foil and bake until top is bubbling and lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


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