A grey, blustery day is a perfect sort of day to inspire me to cook. On today’s menu a big lasagna to share with my family, and probably enough left overs for lunch tomorrow too.
I don’t follow a recipe because it always varies with whatever ingredients I happen to have in the fridge/pantry. Today’s ingredients, however, included:
1 package lean ground beef
1 large, finely chopped onion
1 carrot, finely chopped or shredded
1 red pepper, finely chopped
Cook these up together until beef is well-browned and veggies are cooked to your liking.
Add your spices. Today it included:
Sugar (1 tsp)
Salt (1 tsp)
Granulated garlic (because I forgot to add fresh to the meat mixture above)
Dried chili peppers
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Mix well. On top of this I add the tomatoes. The kind of tomatoes also depends on what I have in the pantry. Today it was:
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
I prefer a thicker meat sauce, so mixed in about 1/2 cup of water, to give it consistency to burble properly on the stove top.
Taste the sauce. Seriously. This is a very important step. Taste it. If it doesn’t taste like an Italian meat sauce, add stuff until it does.
Allow the sauce to simmer for an hour or two. Keep checking it and make sure it doesn’t get too thick. To do it Walsh Cooks way, it should look like this:
At this point, you will need to gather:
Lasagna noodles (cooked, drained, rinse in cold water)
Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
Ricotta cheese, mix with a beaten egg, add some chopped parsley if you need green
Large lasagna pan
Then, in your biggest pan, smoodge a layer of meat sauce, a layer of noodles, a layer of meat sauce, a layer of noodles, a layer of ricotta cheese, a layer of noodles, a layer of meat sauce AND cheese if you are feeling daring, a layer of noodles a layer of cheese, until the pan is full.
And then…. add more mozzarella and a bunch of grated Parmesan on top of it all. Cover with a piece of aluminum foil, transport to Mom’s, turn on the oven to 350F, place lasagna with aluminum cover in the oven, bake for 30 minutes, remove the aluminum cover and bake another 30 minutes until the cheese is melted, golden and bubbly. While the lasagna is baking, start by having a cup of tea with Mom so she doesn’t think you have a drinking problem, then, when you can’t stand it no more, open a bottle of red wine, pour generously, and relax, enjoy the company of your family.
When the house is saturated with the smells of melted cheese and bubbly tomato sauce, set the table, cut the lasagna in generous squares and serve.
Eat. Take pictures. Write about it.