THE PUDDING INCIDENT

What have you been up to in the kitchen?

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Drunked Italian Food Post

Hello friends. Please set your ovens to 350*.

Dinner. It is a time of sharing. Of laughing. Of eating. Of drinking. And with out fail, all of these things have happened in abundance when I made-- drum roll please-- Mama Chiquita's Famous Lasagna!!

First order of business: Steam spinach!

SAVE THE WATER!!

In a mixing device of sorts, combine a chunk of feta cheese, a 15 oz container of ricotta, some italian parsley, an egg, salt, pepper, ground nutmeg, and the steamed spinach:

(psst...by this point, especially if you are cooking with friends, you should be a glass or two in to that bottle of wine)

Now, in a bowl (or other container capable of holding liquidy stuff) combine a small quantity of EVOO (i'd like to give a shout out to Rachel Ray), a jar/can/watever of spaghetti sauce, and 1 (one) cup of the spinach water. What I usually do is pour the spinach water into the container that previously held the spaghetti sauce to help remove stubborn sauce from said container (totally forgetting that recently this same water was 212* F, which is then usually followed by a precarious game of "hot potato" and excessive swearing) and then pour it all into the bowl with the sauce and EVOO (woot woot, RR!).

The time has come to assemble the dish (and pour another glass of vino). Throw down some EVOO into a 9 x 13 pan. Add 1/3 of your red sauce, a layer of UNCOOKED lasagna noodles and 1/2 of the greenish cheesey goop. Rinse, and repeat (1/3 red, noodle, 1/2 green). Slap on one last layer of lasagna, dump on the rest of the red sauce, and sprinkle your favorite cheese liberally on the top (I suggest pepper jack).

(You're almost there!!)

Cover that bad boy with some foil, throw 'em in the oven and bake-a-rooni for 45 minutes. Perhaps build a salad (rip that bag open!). Or maybe make garlic bread (thank god for the bakery section). After 45 minutes, pull off the foil, and cook an addition 10-15 minutes so the cheese can brown.

This is VERY IMPORTANT! LET THE LASAGNA COOL!
You could melt army men with this thing, its so freaking hot when it gets out of the oven. For the love of god, and all those you are feeding, LET IT REST!!

(this is a good time to consume yet more wine with your culinary co-horts.)

A wise woman once said "Sometimes it's best to make this dish the day before so the flavors can really marry, rather than simply co-habitate". All I gotta say to that is "WORD!"

Enjoy, my friends. This dish has served me well. I hope it does the same for you!

And that you have someone to do the dishes for you...

2 comments:

EvilAtWork said...

That looks really really good. I must have the leftovers, please send with chilled wine and garlic toast.

Ms.Rollans said...

I miss your lasgna, more I miss cooking with you as we solve world problems over a bottle or two of wine.