Last week Jan’s farmer friend dropped pounds of tomatoes on us. To preserve them, I turned them into three quarts of a simple tomato sauce—just tomatoes and a bit of salt. This allowed me the greatest flexibility when I decided what to use the sauce in a recipe— meaning it did not lock me into Italian cuisine, like so many of the sauces on-line.
Tag Archives: pasta
Writing this blog really pushes me at times. It makes me feel that I am failing if I do not do my best at every meal. Once upon a time I could make a regular meal, now I am constantly thinking, “What can I do to make this meal different?”
A week ago the basil in the garden was beginning to look sad. I harvested what I could and turned it into pesto to preserve it. Jan saw it in the refrigerator and asked for something made with the pesto tonight. I came up with this dish.
This dish has become my “go to” dish for potlucks (as in “We’re having a potluck. Karl’s going to bring his Sichuan Noodles, isn’t he?) This is one of the dishes that I included in my niece’s wedding recipe book. Many members of both families provided their best recipes to start off Katie’s married life with good food.
I don’t do casseroles, especially tuna casseroles, too many years of church socials growing up. Jan, on the other hand, loves tuna casserole, although she has a problem with its portion control. You cannot take less of the starch and more of the veggies, since everything is mixed together. The other problem with casseroles is that the ingredients do not cook at the same rates. Some things will be under done or others will be way over done. Somewhere there had to be a solution.
All of my girls have colds this week, so I decided to make garlic chicken soup. My mother, like most, swore by chicken soup as a remedy for colds. Garlic is also a natural antibiotic. And although a cold is a virus, it couldn’t hurt.
There are no bad lasagnas, only good and better lasagnas. This, and the fact that lasagna freezes well, keeps Stouffer’s in business. While each step of building a lasagna is not particularly difficult there are a lot of steps to the process. I use the term building, rather than making, because unlike most dishes where you put all of the ingredients in and stir, good lasagna is build layer by flavorful layer. While very delicious, lasagna should not be mistaken for a health food, even my low fat version is relatively high fat (lots of cheese and meat) and high in carbohydrates.
This is one of those dishes from my youth. Lasagna was a dish that my mother would make very occasionally, because while being good it is also very labor intensive. In addition to everything you have to do today, in my mother’s day you had to boil and cool the noodles enough so you could handle them (but not over boil or break them). With the introduction of no-boil noodles the process is slightly easier.
I never made lasagna myself until Cook’s Illustrated printed “Faster Lasagna” in their Sept.-Oct. 2002 issue, where they passed a favorable judgment on no-boil noodles. Since that time I have used their recipe as a guide, but as usual I had some standard changes to what they consider perfect (lower fat and lower salt and with all that cheese why would you add cream?). When Myr asked for lasagna last week I decided to write up my changes to the C.I. recipe.
For me this is a dish usually I make for friends who are having a medical crisis. At my age, this has happened with uncomfortable regularity. After it has cooled Continue reading