Not a Hiatus

So hey.  Apparently it has been a few weeks.  Work has taken all my mental energy lately, leaving none for blogging, but I might finally be over it.  This has not been a hiatus — although you can’t have “hiatus” without “I ate” and I have certainly continued to eat throughout the past month.  And, pace Steve Martin, I have been blogging in my mind.

I will now blog in my blog.

We had friends over for dinner last night and I made lasagna, which I used to base on the Barilla box recipe.  No-boil lasagna noodles are one of the great technological innovations of the 20th century.  I hadn’t made lasagna for months, maybe close to a year — and hey looky Barilla changed its recipe!  Not drastically, but they used to include a couple of eggs in the ricotta-mozzarella mixture, and the eggs have been eliminated.  Okay, fine, less cholesterol is good.  But somehow that send me spinning totally off-recipe.

Not that the recipe is complicated: layers of (no-boil!) noodles, sauce, and cheese.  The box recipe calls for bottled Barilla sauce, surprise surprise, but I made mine from scratch.  Brown a pound of ground beef, add minced onion and garlic, salt and oregano, scoop in a tablespoon of tomato paste and cook for a while to mellow the harsh paste, pour in some red wine, reduce, add a big can of San Marzano tomatoes and some chicken stock, break up the tomatoes, and let it simmer for a while.  Simmer down, saucy.

Don’t get saucy with me, Béarnaise.

Also, instead of mixing together shredded mozza with ricotta (and, previously, eggs), I just spread a couple of ricotta layers by itself, and added mozzarella only on the very top, as the final act.  350 degrees for 30 minutes covered, then 5-10 minutes uncovered to melt/brown cheese.  That last bit was the only misstep, as the cheese didn’t acquire any color; next time I will broil it for a few minutes at the end.

Turned out great!  Garlic bread, salad, red wine, nice dinner.

Coming soon, the usual parade of restaurants both Wheatonian and not, other food ramblings, and another thrilling installment of “It Came From H Mart.”

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