In a couple weeks I will be cooking for my literary group. In the past we have read all of Dante’s Divina Comedia, Milton’s Paradise Lost, a large percentage of the works of T.S. Eliot, a great share of G. M. Hopkins and we are set to move on to some of the Metaphysical Poets.
We read aloud and then comment. At the end of our work, we eat.
I will make lasagna from the group and so I am getting it back under my fingers now, in a smaller version.
Start by making a simple tomato sauce. I used a couple cloves of garlic, an onion, some celery and carrot. Into a dutch oven it goes with olive oil on a medium heat.
Be sure to grind in some pepper and salt. The pepper of flavor changes with heat in oil.
Cook until translucent about 10 minutes.
I added a couple large cans of good tomatoes and a couple bay leaves.
This now has to reduce for a while.
Meanwhile, I browned ground beef and extracted most of the fat.
I will let this cool.
Meanwhile, I am thawing a couple packages of frozen spinach.
When the tomato sauce is reduced, I will make a mess of bechamel and then blend them together.
UPDATE: 2246 GMT:
Time to make my roux.
Melt butter, about a half stick, and add your flour, about a half cup.
Blend it together and let it cook for a few minutes.
After removing most of the reduced tomato sauce to small containers for the freezer, I put the bechamel into the tomato sauce pan. Why? It is a little larger and with a larger surface exposed, it will cool faster.
To heck with waiting! Out it goes into the big freezer for a while.
UPDATE: 2320 GMT:
Drink a glass of wine and watch football.
UPDATE 16 Jan 0029 GMT:
I am building it up. Today I chose a purchased pan. Having measured the sheets of pasta, I choose the 13×9 incher.
Just build it up, criss cross if you wish.
Build it up.
Layers of bechamel, ricotta with egg, beef, spinach.
Shredded “provolone” and “mozzarella” on top with grated “parmiggiano”.
I put a sheet of foil beneath, upon the baking sheet.
I covered it with another sheet of foil.
I will bake it at 375F for 30 and then uncover it and bake it until it looks right.
UPDATE: 15 Jan 01:45: