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Can We Talk About Lasagna? And a Book.
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The weekend ended with a lasagna. Not your ordinary lasagna. Roasted summer squash, bolognese sauce, home made noodles, fresh mozzarella, mushrooms, ricotta. Probably the lightest, fluffiest lasagna in the world. Wonderful with a crusty bread, a great bottle or two of wine, and laughter.

And the good news was that we could share it with friends, and the weekend--despite all the storm and political turmoil--seemed to end happily. A good ending for any weekend. Below is Michael's recipe.

Michael’s Lasagna


Ingredients List

Four or five summer squash

1 lb lean ground beef 1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg 28oz can diced tomatoes 14oz can no-salt-added tomato sauce 5oz can tomato paste 2 lbs crimini mushrooms red wine 1 medium onion, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 fresh pasta recipe, left in strips (if you use dried, prepare as package instructs)

1 cartons ricotta cheese 2 tsp dried thyme cooking olive oil extra-virgin olive oil salt fresh ground pepper


Instructions

Slice summer squash 1/2 inch thick and grill, making sure to char not burn. Set aside to cool.

 

Sauté the beef and nutmeg in a 14-inch skillet in a little olive oil over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper.   When the beef is half-cooked, push it to the sides and add the onion. Sauté gently until clear.   Sauté the garlic in a 3-quart sauté pan until it begins to brown, then add the tomato paste sauté for another minute.   Add the tomato sauce, the diced tomatoes and the beef mixture to the sauté pan and simmer for at least 30 minutes over low heat.  

Slice the mushrooms and sauté with thyme, salt and pepper in the same skillet the beef cooked in until tender. Add a little red wine at the last minute.

Layer a large (9 x 13 m might not be big enough, so you'll need two) pan with noodles, sauce, and then the vegetables and cheese in the order of your choice. The last two layers should be sauce and cheese.

If you bake immediately, an hour will do. We like to back for an hour the first day, cool, and chill in the frig, and then back for one and a half hours the day of serving. Let cool for 1/2 hour and then serve.

And for additional news: My friend and fellow Redroom author Mia King (Darien Hsu Gee) has a book unleashed upon the world today. Please check out Sweet Life! I know you will love it.

Jessica

Comments
4 Comment count
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Lasagna is exotic

to me, because we never make it at home.  Our ovens are used to store paper bags, beer and ramen.  Only the wok gets good usage--so much so that we get a new one one when we wear a hole in the bottom.

Still thinking about your last post, which gave me a new perspective on the blame women receive for being the bearer of the seed.

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You would LOVE this stuff. 

You would LOVE this stuff.  Very tasty.

I love a good wok meal myself, though.  All forms of cooking are great, except the microwave!

J

Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com

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Oh, I know I'd love Michael's lasagna. I'm drooling.

A lot of food and how they are made are still a mystery to me, because we don't create it at home.  I used to trade my ham sandwich for my girlfriends' tuna fish sandwiches.  Later, when I realized that all you pretty much needed to do was mash it all up with mayonnaise, I was a very happy child.

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Fears Squashed

As long as there were onions - and garlic, too. I initially feared you would omit the meat.