Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dark Days: Homemade lasagna (again)

This week’s local meal was easy because, well, we had leftovers. I’m not sure how I missed writing about my Valentine’s Day lasagna, but this evening I reheated the part I had frozen and it was almost as good the second time around.

In an attempt to duplicate the house lasagna at our favorite Italian restaurant, I made my own noodles nice and thin. I used eggs (can't remember if they were local!), Oregon flour and a little Semolina flour. I almost bought a fancy lasagna noodle cutter, but before I did I decided to try just cutting the noodles with a knife. Of course, you can’t see the edges of the noodles after they are cooked into lasagna. Not sure why anybody needs the fancy cutter.

I used local garlic, onions, sausage, ground beef, mozzarella and cottage cheeses, but I confess I purchased sauce. I like a certain tomato and basil sauce much better than mine -- I still have work to do on my recipe. Anyway, I wanted this lasagna to be good, so I bought sauce. I also topped it with non-local Parmesan because I could (I already had some in the fridge). The resulting lasagna was not quite authentic Italian restaurant quality, but it was certainly the closest I’ve ever come!

With the lasagna leftovers this evening, we had homemade rolls and a green salad with local lettuce (bought from my new favorite grocery store). The rolls used local honey, but the rest of the ingredients were from farther away. Something bizarre has happened to the price of flour in the past month and so I don’t think I’ll be purchasing any more Oregon flour anytime soon. Organic flour from Montana or Utah is going to have to do. On Valentines, we had homemade truffles for dessert. None of those are still remaining!

The (original) lasagna dinner was a lot of work, but I realized with surprise how different it was from the dinner I cooked for Scott on our first Valentine’s Day. That dinner had the same menu, and I’m actually still using the same lasagna recipe, it’s just that I’ve added onions, garlic, sausage, Parmesan cheese, seasonings and homemade noodles (made with "help" from a toddler)! The salad now includes fresh local ingredients. Rather than store-bought bread, there are homemade rolls. And the iced brownies I made 12 years ago cannot possibly compare with homemade truffles.

When Scott and I got married, my cooking repertoire consisted of lasagna and (boxed) macaroni and cheese, and Scott didn't like my mac & cheese. Even when I made it really special by adding hot dogs to it! Instead of complaining, Scott decided to support and encourage me in my attempts to become a better cook -- he says it was purely altruistic. ;) Who knew that someday I'd be publishing my cooking escapades on the world wide web?!! Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Green Bean said...

Wow! Homemade noodles and truffles. Sounds wonderful. :) Isn't it funny how a couples' menu changes over time.