I’m not really sure where the week went, but I believe I owe you a few recipes from last week. Sorry!
First up is a fast and easy lasagna! I did cheat a bit and used this a bit as a refrigerator cleanup night. I added in some dollops of ricotta a. because I had half a tub leftover and b. because I like it.
I also added some asiago cheese to my béchamel sauce. I know … it’s not traditional, but I had some leftover and no real intent of using it, so why not? While I’m on the topic of béchamel sauce … don’t be afraid to add the nutmeg! I really think it adds a nice pop of flavor both to white sauces. Not sure what to do with it? Here’s what a whole nutmeg looks like:
Just shave a little bit off into your sauce with a small microplane grater.
I also can my own spaghetti sauce, so why reinvent the wheel right? I have about 20 pints on hand just for such occasions!
This is a great time savor if you want the same flavors as lasagna, but without all the work. I took this one from Rachael’s daytime talk show. I’ve got the recipe below with my own edits as to what I changed, but give the original a try if you want!
What do you need?
Salt and pepper
1 pound wavy lasagna noodles, broken into irregular pieces **I used about half a box because that was what I had leftover from another meal months ago
2 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 pounds ground beef **I used 1 pound because that was what I had
1 onion, finely chopped
2 to 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped or grated
**I skipped everything from here through the row of *** because I used my own sauce, you could also use store bought sauce
1 spring of rosemary, finely chopped
A sprinkle ground cloves
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup white wine
2 cups beef stock
3 tablespoons butter
2 rounded tablespoons flour
2 cups whole milk **I used whipping cream
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente.
In a Dutch oven, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown well. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, rosemary, cloves and lots of salt and pepper and cook until tender, 7 to 8 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute, then stir in the wine for 1 minute. Stir in the stock and simmer for a few minutes longer. **I skipped this and just used my own sauce***
Preheat the broiler and position a rack in the center of the oven. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and let it cook for a minute.
Then add the milk, and let thicken enough to coat a spoon; season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. **I also threw in a handful of asiago cheese for good measure.
Toss the pasta with the meat sauce and arrange in a casserole. Pour the béchamel sauce over the top in an even layer. Top with a layer of parmigiano-reggiano and broil in the oven to brown the top. **I layered mine similar to a real lasagna, but I think next time I’d mix the noodles with the ricotta and then layer the noodles and sauce with cheese on top.
How did yours turn out??
Until the next time…
~The girl behind the lama