I threw together No-Bake Lasagna with Ricotta and Tomatoes (pg 289) for dinner last night. As an added bonus, this used up a box of no-boil lasagne noodles that's been in my cabinet since last Christmas. If you've ever wondered if you can boil no-boil lasagna noodles, the answer is yes. They would have stuck together if I hadn't immediately moved them from the water to the sauce, but otherwise they were fine.
Lasagne is sacred food in my house. We had it once a year, at Christmas, and my Dad would spend the whole day and evening on Christmas Eve stirring that pot of sauce, skimming sausage and meatball grease off the top, periodically bellowing, "Never again, Margaret! Never again!" Every year. Now that he's gone, lasagne has become my Christmas ritual.
I didn't expect this free-form version of lasagne to compete with the real deal, but I hadn't quite realized how firmly I believe that lasagne is more than its individual components. Lasagne is lasagne because of the layers, the denseness, and the merging of cheese with sauce with meat, not because you happen to use a noodle that defines itself as lasagne. I think of this more as a pasta dish, and not as lasagne. It's not lasagne. It is, however, delicious.
Conclusion: Liked it. The sauce was really sweet and delicious. If you have garlic and some tomatoes, you can make this. No real shock, but Charlie DID eat his noodles and the cheese after carefully picking off each and every bit of basil. No tomatoes, but that also was not a surprise. He did pluck a raw tomato out of my fruit basket and eat it, unprompted, the other day. He only ate the one, but he didn't spit it out (or if he did, I haven't found it yet) or lick my leg to scrape the skin off of his tongue, so that gives me hope for the future.
Furthering my quest to use my ricotta, I had Fresh Ricotta with Lemon, Basil, and Honey Bruschetta (pg 63) for breakfast today. This is as easy as it comes. Mix lemon zest with ricotta. Smear on toast. Top with basil and a honey drizzle. I used whole wheat bread, because I didn't have anything more bruschetta-ey, but that's okay.
|Mmmm...maybe you'll be my lunch, too.|
Conclusion: Liked it.