Saturday, April 30, 2005

Hillbilly Eye-talian

Sometimes I think I could make this into a food blog. Food is so important. And so much fun.

Today I’m making a lasagna. Well, more than one -- one to eat and enough in the freezer for one or two more meals, depending on how hungry we are. Lasagna is like that -- a bit of trouble to put together, but no more trouble to put together two than one.

My recipe? First, get a cow and get used to making mozzarella and ricotta cheeses. Then get chickens to get the really freshest and most orange eggs. Grow yourself some tomatoes. Many varieties will do but we’re particularly fond of the San Marzano you can get seeds for from Wally World. Grow them on compost and let the ripen on the vine. Preserve them by many methods -- obliterate some in the blender thing and reduce down to paste, freeze some whole which you can then easily make into paste, can some, dry some. And grow some herbs too. And garlic. And onions. Maybe some sweet peppers.

Ok ok, I buy the pasta, and I buy the cheap stuff too. I really believe in whole grains but we eat so much whole grains and so relatively little pasta that I don’t worry about trying to get whole wheat pasta. But we do know how to make pasta and noodles even if we don’t usually do it.

I won’t go through the whole process but it is pretty intuitive to make a good red sauce, a good ricotta mixture, and throw on some extra motz and basil. And if you don’t already know, there is no need to pre-cook the pasta. Gawd, did figuring that out ever make it easier!

You can use the same ricotta mix (basically ricotta, eggs, some motz, some herbs, some parmesan, some salt if your ingredients aren’t already salted) to stuff shells or other shapes. I do this then freeze them; out of the freezer they are put in baking dishes, covered with fresh cream with some garlic and olive oil and parmesan for an in situ alfredo sauce, and baked until done.

One of my favorite uses for the ricotta mix is white pizza. I just use the ricotta instead of a red sauce. It is great piled with veggies, covered with mozzarella, and baked.


justrose said...

you must be italian, a good red sauce is entirely intuitive.

the Contrary Goddess said...

And different every time.

And what I am, really, is a peasant, and nothing is better than ALL peasant cuisines.