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Monday, October 29, 2007

Classic Lasagna


1 pound uncooked lasagna noodles (I used Ronzoni)
2 pounds ricotta
8 - 16 oz shredded mozzarella (not fresh)
1/2 cup pecorino romano grated cheese
1 qt homemade tomato sauce (see recipe under "Sauces, Stocks, Stews and Soup")
1 pound meatloaf mix - equal parts beef, veal and pork
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
Olive Oil
Black Pepper

1. Chop onions
2. Mince garlic

Sautee both in hot pan with 2 T of Olive Oil

3. after 1 minute, add ground meat, breaking it into smaller and smaller pieces with a wooden spoon as it fries.
4. While meat is cooking, combine ricotta and grated mozzarella in bowl. Stir together adding salt and black pepper to taste. (Some people add an egg at this step, but I don't like the consistency it creates.)
5. Boil lasagna noodles
6. Defrost tomato sauce if previously frozen
7. When lasagna pasta is finished, fish out of water carefully and lay flat over paper towels spread out over a counter. The paper towels will absorb excess moisture.
8. In a 9 in by 12 inch pyrex dish or the equivalent, place about 1/2 cup sauce in bottom.
9. Layer 3 noodles slightly overlapping, then 1/3 ricotta mixture, then 1/2 cup of sauce. Cover with another layer of 3 noodles. Add 1/2 the ground meat and another 1/2 cup of the sauce. Alternate these layers ending with a layer of noodles on the top. Spread remaining sauce on top of noodles and sprinkle 1/4 cup of grated cheese on top.
10. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
11. Check progress at 30 minutes and if liquid at bottom and edges of the dish is not boiling, bake for another 10 minutes covered.
12. Uncover dish and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes making sure pasta on top doesn't get crunchy.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pears Poached in White Wine

Earlier I posted a video of poaching pears in red wine. I love how the pears look with the deep red stain from the wine, but it's hard to get the pear uniformly colored. I decided to poach in white wine this time using 2 cups of sugar with 1 bottle of dry white wine. The flavor of the pears was somewhat thin due to the poaching process taking from the pear all those great flavors that make the poaching syrup so delicious. But if you serve the pears coated in a thickened syrup with vanilla ice cream, you get all the right flavors and textures in every bite. No video today, but I do have some photos.