By Ernestine Franco
Eating lasagna is a good thing. Eating lasagna to benefit the Sound Beach Veterans Memorial is even better.
The Sound Beach Civic Association will host its third Lasagna Dinner for the Vets Memorial fundraiser on Friday, April 1 (no fooling!), from 5 to 7 p.m. on the second floor of the Sound Beach Firehouse located at 152 Sound Beach Blvd.
Mamma’s Lasagna — yields 10 to 12 servings
Ingredients: 2 eggs; 2 pounds whole or low-fat ricotta; 1 pound shredded mozzarella; ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese; 1 tablespoon dried oregano; 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper; Nonstick cooking spray; 6-7 cups of your favorite tomato sauce; 1 box (9 ounces) no-boil lasagna pasta (or use regular lasagna pasta); 1 cup shredded mozzarella for topping
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 F. In large bowl, beat eggs. Add ricotta, 1 pound of mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well. Spray bottom and sides of pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 1 cup of sauce on bottom of pan. Layer 4 uncooked lasagna sheets, 1/3 of cheese mixture and 1 cup of the sauce. Repeat step 4 two more times. Top with 4 sheets of lasagna. Spread 1 cup of sauce and sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella on top layer. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until bubbly, about 50-60 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until cheese melts, about 10 minutes. Let stand about 15 minutes before cutting. Top with more sauce if desired.
The menu will include homemade lasagna, meatballs, salad, bread, dessert, coffee, tea and nonalcoholic beverages. There will also be a 50/50 raffle. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, with children under 10 free. Take-out will be available for $10.
For some background on the site, starting in 2007, the Sound Beach Civic Association coordinated the Veterans Memorial Project, now located on New York Avenue across from the post office. In cooperation with the Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County and New York State, they secured grants. Pavers in the form of a rondel, six flag poles and a granite wall were installed on which were to be placed bronze plaques honoring the seven fallen of Sound Beach. However, the funding dried up and for a time the granite wall remained empty.
Then in 2012, the Civic scaled down the project and donations from the community allowed them to purchase the bronze plaques and engrave the granite wall. On Memorial Day 2012, the Memorial was finally dedicated. Memorial services for the community are held each year on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Ann Moran, treasurer of the Civic and the co-chair of the lasagna dinner, donated the funds for the plaques in honor of her late husband, Matt Moran. Her commitment to ensuring that the Memorial is well maintained is what drives her to this day. “Every time I drive by the Memorial I’m reminded of the sacrifices made by many to ensure our quality of life, but most of all I remember Matt,” Moran said.
Several years ago Moran came up with the idea of hosting a lasagna dinner to raise the funds needed to maintain the Memorial.
“I’d like to invite everyone to join us, not just because it’s a worthy cause or because my sister is the one cooking the lasagna or because it’s my mother’s recipe,” Bea Ruberto, president of the Civic, said, “but because it’s a great community event.”
Nancy Ford, a Sound Beach resident and Civic member who attended the last lasagna dinner, remembers the event fondly. “I very much enjoyed attending the last lasagna dinner for the Vets Memorial. We were treated to good homemade lasagna, enjoyed the time with good friends, and were glad to be able to support the Vets Memorial,” she said.
If you would like more information on the other activities of the Sound Beach Civic Association, visit www.soundbeachcivic.org.
Although tickets may be purchased at the door, because of limited seating, advance reservations are suggested by calling 631-821-9650 for tickets.
For those of you who can’t make it on April Fool’s Day or would like to make lasagna on Easter Sunday, here is the recipe. Mangia!