Woven Lasagna Part Two

On May 14th I wrote about making the woven lasagna featured on the cover of the June issue of Food and Wine  magazine. While it has been a bit more than a month, last night we had Woven Pasta Part Two.

It is still a lot of work but I was smarter this time.    So here is what I learned and I have included pictures to demonstrate.

I made my pasta dough in my Kitchen Aid mixer as opposed to a food processor.  I let it rest overnight and had my husband help me when it came time to roll it out.  The recipe calls for the dough to be rolled out to the highest setting in the pasta machine, in the case of my machine 9.  We got to level 7 on my machine and the pasta was tearing, so we started again and went to level 6.  Here’s how it looked rolled out.

Woven Lasagna Sheet ready for the pot

Woven Lasagna sheet ready for the pot.

The sheet was rolled out and cut to the dimensions called for in the recipe – 32 inches by 5 inches. You need two of these.  I also found that I used about half the dough for this recipe.  The rest will be turned into pasta rags or pappardella.

The next step is to boil the sheets, one at a time in 4 quarts of salted water.  Putting the sheets into the pot was one thing, getting them out was another thing altogether.  The directions say to use a spider and tongs, which we did.  Still an adventure trying to get all of the pasta out without tearing.

Woven lasagna sheet cooked and cooling

Woven Lasagna sheet cooked and cooling

We had a few tears but nothing I was going to worry about. The directions tell you to oil the sheets and fold in half.  I ended up using two large cookie sheets to accommodate the two cooked folded pieces without overlapping them as well..

The next step is to make the filling.  I assembled and prepped all of the ingredients.

woven lasagna filling ingredients

Woven lasagna filling ingredients

Filling ingredients include 6 oz of prosciutto, minced, 16 oz of whole milk ricotta, 3 ounces of Parmesan and 2 tbl. of fresh rosemary finely.  All of these went into the food processor to be combined into the filling that would be piped into the the lasagna and the pasta woven around it.

Filling piped into lasagna

Filling piped into the lasagna.

While this isn’t the greatest picture, you can see the rows of filling. This is the second row I put into the pan.  They went into the troughs left when the pasta sheets were tucked around the piped filling.  After the last adventure making this dish, I decided I really needed to purchase a sturdy piping bag with the appropriate size tip.  Fortunately the local Michael’s is open and I could find what I needed in the cake and candy decorating section of the store.  They worked much better than the plastic bag with a 3/4″ tip cut into the end that the recipe called for.

Once I used up all of the filling it was time to cover the filling with the final sheets of lasagna noodles and trim the excess.

Woven lasagna ready for the 24 rest period.

The woven lasagna ready for the 24 hour resting period.

As you can see, the pasta sheets now completely encase the filling.  At this point you need to place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the lasagna let it rest, in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

The next night I was ready to cook the lasagna for dinner.  You unmold the lasagna by running an offset spatula around the loaf pan and turning it out unto a cutting board.  I find it easiest to place a cutting board over the top of the loaf pan and then inverting the pan.  A quick tap on the inverted loaf pan and the lasagna popped out.

I used my electric knife to cut two 1 1/2 ” slices from the loaf.  They get placed on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and then the top and sides are coated in olive oil.

Woven lasagna ready for the oven

Woven lasagna ready for the oven.

The final touch is a sprinkling of fresh Parmesan cheese before putting them into an oven preheated to 500 degrees F. The recipe calls for them to be baked for 6 to 10 minutes but they take a little longer at altitude.

While they were cooking I made the spinach sauce for the plates.  And here’s the finished product.

Woven lasagna plated

Woven lasagna plated and ready to eat.

And to give you an idea of the impact of using a good piping bag, here’s the image I shared back in May when I made this for the first time.

Woven lasagna made in May

Woven lasagna made in May

The ridges of filling are much more defined with a good piping bag.

I als0 discovered the recipe indicated you can freeze the loaf before cooking.  I divided the remaining lasagna loaf into two pieces which will be enough for two more meals.  And the best part – virtually no additional work!

 

Posted in appliances, Cooking, Food, Food Processor, Italian, KitchenAid stand mixer, meat, Pasta, pasta machine, proscuitto | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good Speed At Last!

Those of you that follow my blog know that I stick pretty consistently to subjects regarding food and cooking.  But today I want to share my excitement over our new internet provider and my joy in GOOD INTERNET SPEED AT LAST!!!! For the last several years we have used CenturyLink as our internet provider.  There is no fiber in Corrales so we were on a DSL line.  We rarely, if ever, got the advertised speed but it was acceptable.  Over the last few weeks the speed has degraded to the point where you couldn’t even log on to email.  Doing my blog was out of the question as loading to the server more often than not resulted in the link timing out.  So we switched providers and boy, what a difference!

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking and trying out some new things.  I just couldn’t share the fun.  Since I last posted I have been on a shrimp kick.  I’ve made a cold shrimp remoulade salad that was lemon based as opposed to chili sauce based.  Served with sliced avocado, it made a great cold supper.

This past Friday I made Spicy Shrimp Rolls.  I found the recipe in the Washington Post.  It is a take on the ever popular Lobster roll, but with a budget friendly substitute.  And quite frankly, fresh lobster is really hard to come by in Albuquerque.

The ingredients are pretty standard, except for the split top hot dog buns. And, as usual, I made some substitutions.  Here’s my version.

Spicy Shrimp Roll   Serves 2

  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1/8 c mayonnaise, or more to taste
  • 1 tbl. fresh squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
  • 1 tbl grated horseradish – not the creamy kind
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 good dashes of Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 8 oz peeled, deveined and cooked large shrimp
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn
  • 1/2 tbl fresh parsley, chopped can have additional for garnish if desired.
  • 2 hot dog buns
  • unsalted butter
  • lemon wedges to pass

Combine he celery, mayonnaise. lemon juice, horseradish, salt, cayenne pepper and hot sauce in a large bowl.  Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.   Set aside in the refrigerator.

Slice the corn of the cob.  Chop the shrimp into bite sized pieces.  Add the shrimp, corn and chopped parsley to the dressing and return to the refrigerator.   Let the mixture rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This gives the shrimp time to absorb the seasonings in the dressing.  Taste after 30 minutes and add mayonnaise, lemon juice or additional hot sauce based on your preference.

Prepare the buns just before serving.  Warm a large skillet over medium heat.  Butter each hot dog bun with softened butter.  Place the buns buttered side down into the skillet and cook until golden brown.  Remove the buns and stuff with the shrimp mixture.    Garnish with additional parsley and lemon wedges as desired.

Another shrimp dish that enters the “Keeper” file!

Note: The original recipe calls for frozen corn as an optional recipe ingredient.  I definitely wanted to add corn to the mix but I prefer fresh when I can get it. The remaining corn that came off the cob will be used in a black bean and jalapeno salad with chipotle honey dressing.

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Bakery Hamburger Buns

When we moved out to Corrales over 17 years ago I never thought one of the things I would miss most was a good bakery hamburger bun.  You know the type I’m talking about.  A crisp crust with a soft interior that cradles the burger but stands up to condiments without getting squishy, for lack of a better word.  And one that is in proportion to the size of a standard burger.  I used to be able to get them from the bakery section of my local grocery store.

And then we moved to New Mexico.  Now we have the option of Kaiser rolls, which while holding their own with a burger tend to be on the large size.  A bakery item called hard rolls are also an option but once again they can be quite large.

Of course you can get the 8 in a pack  standard burger buns distributed by bread companies.  We find they are way to soft and have a tendency to get gummy if you load them up with condiments.

I had pretty much resigned myself to oversized kaiser or hard rolls until the June issue of Food and Wine showed up in my mailbox.  I was almost all the way through the issue when I spotted a recipe for Lobster BLT’s on potato rolls. The lobster part was a little to rich for my blood as it requires 1/2 lb of lobster meat for two servings.  In today’s market that’s about $18 to $20 worth of lobster.  Or, if you follow the alternate lobster source suggestion in the recipe, $19.99 at Whole Foods.  Nope, not for two sandwiches.  But what really caught my eye was the recipe for the potato rolls.

Last Saturday night, burgers were on the menu so I decided to try my hand at making the rolls.  A pretty bold leap of faith because if the recipe failed we would be without buns.  I had all of the ingredients on hand, even the potato flour, so I decided to dive into the deep end and try my hand at home made buns.  To be honest, the recipe is pretty straight forward.  I had to make minor adjustments to account for altitude but didn’t want to go too crazy on my first attempt on buns.

A scale is really critical for this recipe.  It ensures you get an equal amount of dough for each bun and an even cooking time.  I did get a little paranoid about making sure I had rolled the dough into even size balls and flattened them to the right dimension  prior to the final rise.  I also added a sprinkling of corn meal under the buns before placing them on the baking sheet for their final rise and bake.  Once out of the oven the buns are brushed with butter and allowed to cool.

I ended up with enough dough for 8 rolls plus a little left over.  That’s why you see the cooks roll in the leftmost corner!

And here’s the result:

Hamburger Bund

Hamburger Buns fresh from the oven

They were great!  The crust had the right crunch while the interior stood up to the burger and condiments without turning soggy.  I don’t know how they stand up to Lobster BLT’s  but they made the perfect burger bun.  Right size, right texture, what’s not to love!

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Last Minute Switch

Yesterday was one of those days when I did a last minute switch on my dinner menu.  I had planned on Spaghetti with red sauce and meatballs.  But I had a CAT scan yesterday and that iodine contrast took everything out of me.  When it got to be around 2 pm, I knew I didn’t have the taste or desire for meatballs. And even the red sauce was not sounding that good.  So time for a last minute switch ( and yes, 2 pm is a last minute switch on a dinner menu for me!)

Pasta still sounded good so I decided to go from there.  A little foraging in the freezer and refrigerator yielded frozen shell on shrimp, left over roasted asparagus, a fresh lemon and some cream.  I decided on fettuccine with shrimp and asparagus in a lemon cream sauce.

I defrosted and peeled the shrimp.  The shells went into a pan with a bit of water to boil them.  The asparagus had been roasted as whole spears so I cut them up into 2 inch pieces and set them aside.  I sliced 4 garlic gloves – because garlic is good for ANYTHING that ails you – and set them aside.

As the dinner hour approached I set a pot of water to boil for the pasta. When the pasta was about four minutes from being done I melted some unsalted butter in a frying pan and gently cooked the garlic until it was soft and fragrant.  I drained the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water,  and returned it to the pot.  I added the shrimp to the frying pan with the garlic and cooked the shrimp until it was pink.  Those went into the pot with the pasta.  I tossed the cut up asparagus into the frying pan to heat up, about 1 minute.  Then they went into the pot with the pasta.  The pasta pot was placed over a burner with a low flame.  I added about 1/4 cup of cream, some of the pasta water and a bit of the shrimp stock.  As it thickened, I grated some fresh lemon peel into the pot.  About two minutes later dinner was ready

It wasn’t spaghetti and meatballs but it was pasta and, to tell you the truth, it soothed my soul. And that is what I needed last night.

 

Posted in Cooking, Entree, fish, Food, Italian, Meatless, pasta, Recipes, Seafood, shrimp | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cool Dish for a Hot Day

It was hot here yesterday.  Not too bad in an adobe home but still, you want a cool dish on a hot day.  That’s why I elected to try out a new recipe that I found in the 25th Anniversary edition of Saveur magazine.  Strangely enough the recipe appears in the Winter edition! I liked it when I first saw it and fortunately I dog eared the page so I could find it again all these months later.

It is a recipe for Shrimp Remoulade. I’ve made shrimp and crab remoulade before, always with a basic mayonnaise and cocktail sauce mixture.  This one was different.  It was still mayonnaise based but used a mixture of cornichons, capers, parsley, tarragon, lemon zest and lemon juice to complete the sauce.  The shrimp were actually cooked in a broth that resulted from simmering shrimp shells, dry white wine, thyme, parsley, yellow onion celery stalk and a bay leaf until the vegetables were soft.  The mixture was drained through a fine sieve and pressed to release all of the liquid.

The dish was completed with Boston leaf lettuce, avocado and toast made from the Pain de Mie I made earlier in the week.   It was delicious!  And perfect for a summer day.  I know it was a hit because George told me multiple times how good it was and we needed to have it again! I couldn’t agree more.

One caveat.  This is not a dish you start at 5 when you get home from work.  The recipe indicated it takes 4 hours and you will need all of that time.  Not all of it is active cooking but there is a fair amount of work chopping and dicing.  And your quess is as good as mine as to what constitutes a “small” celery stalk.  I used what was next to come off the bunch.

Here’s my version of the dish.  I added additional cornichons and used Italian parsley throughout:

Shrimp Remoulade

For the Sauce:

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 cornichons, finely chopped, plus 1 1/4 tsp picking brine from the cornichons
  • 1 1/4 tsp. capers, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tsp. finely chipped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbls. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the shrimp cooking liquid:

  • 2/3 lbs medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and shells reserved for cooking liquid
  • 1 tbls. plus 1 tsp.Kosher Salt
  • 2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1 1/3 cup dry white wine – I used a chardonnay because that was what I would be drinking with dinner.
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 springs of Italian parsley
  •  1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf

Plating:

  • 1 avocado, cut in half, pitted and scooped out of the peel
  • 4 leaves of Boston lettuce
  • finely chopped chives
  • Lemon wedges
  • Buttered toast  – rolls could work here as well or a nice baguette

For the sauce – Place all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.   Season with salt, fresh pepper and additional lemon juice to taste.  I found the capers brought enough salt to the sauce so I skipped adding any extra.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to plate the dish.

For the shrimp cooking liquid – In a medium pot place the shrimp cooking ingredients and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 30 minutes at altitude, less at sea level.  Pour the mixture into a fine mesh strainer set over a large bowl. Press on the solids to release all of that flavorful liquid.  Rinse out the pot and return the stock to it.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat.  When the liquid reaches a simmer, turn off the heat, add the shrimp and cover the pot.  Set the pot aside until the shrimp are cooked through.  It took about 4 minutes here.

When shrimp are cooked through, remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and lay out on a foil lined (easy clean up) baking sheet to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Plating-

Toss the shrimp with the remoulade to coat.  Toast and butter two slices of bread or warmed baguette.  Place two lettuce leaves on each plate. Lay the halved, pitted and peeled avocado, cup side up, along one side of the leaves.  Spoon the dressed shrimp over the lettuce and some of the avocado. Garnish with lemon wedges, the chopped chives and toast.

An elegant way to end a hot day!

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Taco Friday

Last night was Taco Friday at our house.  I know the big thing is Taco Tuesday but I’m not committed to a particular food on a particular day, except during Lent.  Then Fridays mean fish of one sort or another.  Easter was long ago so my Friday dinners menus have been much more diverse.   Thursday night as I was planning the weekly menu I decided I wanted fish on Friday.  George and I went back and forth over a couple of different fish and dish options.  Nothing sounded good until I thought of fish tacos!  Truth be told, I may have completely missed preparing them during lent.  George agreed that fish tacos would hit the spot if I didn’t mind making a mess of my stove.  Somethings are worth the work!

Actually, this isn’t a hard dish to make, tho the stove does require some attention when you are through!  I use a version of a Crispy Fish Taco recipe from Rick Bayless.  The ingredients include all the usual suspects; flour, baking powder and beer.  It also included yellow mustard, dried oregano ( I substituted Mexican oregano) and garlic, smashed into a paste.  It also called for bass or cod as the fish of choice.  I always have cod filets in the freezer so my fish choice was easy.

Late afternoon I prepped all the ingredients, The recipe called for the filets to be cut into strips.  I elected to cut the filets into bite sized pieces. I also made a quick pico sauce using fresh tomatoes, red onion and fresh jalapeno.  I mixed the vegetables with a dash of Pnezey’s Pico seasoning and put it in the fridge to let the flavors meld.  The one thing I didn’t have was crema.  I did have mayonnaise and sour cream so I mixed up a crema substitute.

When dinner time rolled around I heated up the oil in a deep pot.  The beauty of this recipe is that it calls for only 1 1/2 inches of oil so it isn’t quite as messy as fish and chips! Once the oil came to temperature, I battered the fish pieces and, working in batches fried them up until they were puffy and golden.  It wasn’t long before dinner was on the table.  I served the tacos with the pico and crema and a side of Mexican rice.

These could become a new summertime favorite! It was only after we had finished our tacos that I realized I forgot the sliced cabbage.  It wasn’t missed!

 

Posted in cod, Cooking, Family, fish, Food, Meatless, Mexican Food, Recipes, Seafood, sides | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Start of Summer

Ok, Memorial Day is over.  We have now achieved the unofficial start of summer.  I am busy adding to my garden, washing windows, in the hope that the spring winds have FINALLY died down for good, and generally preparing the inn for summer.  It also means it is time to say goodbye to the much loved winter fare and start planning menus that lean more towards salads and veggies. And proteins that cry out to be grilled.

That’s not to say that we won’t enjoy an occasional bowl of chili – it’s on the menu for tomorrow night – but its appearance will be reduced.  It’s time to break out my summer standbys.  Things like Salad Nicoise, Salmon Mousse with a cucumber dressing, and cold soups such as my Carrot and Ginger soup and Vichyssoise.  The grill, which is used year round in this household, will play a more frequent roll in the weekly menus with ribs, chicken, beef, pork and salmon taking their turn over the burners. Mashed potatoes will give way to grilled zucchini, baked potatoes, and our personal favorite, grilled carrots, beets, or asparagus.

Pasta will not be completely banished until next fall, tho it will appear in a lighter format. Shells stuffed with chicken or tuna salad, homemade ravioli stuffed with salmon in a lemon sauce, or perhaps spaghetti featuring an oil and garlic sauce in lieu of my standard tomato sauce. And I will attempt the Woven Lasagna with Prosciutto and Fresh Spinach Sauce again sometime in the next month or so.  I am sure there will be other recipes I will rediscover as the weather turns warmer and the idea of heavy meals leaves me flat.

And there’s no time like the present to start this change. According to the weather channel temperatures are predicted to be in the upper 80s and low 90s at least through June 9th.  My weekly menu planning just got more interesting!

Posted in American Food, BBQ, Bed and Breakfast, Cooking, fish, Food, Gardening, grilling, meat, pasta, Salad, Seafood, Soups, vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Not Cooking

Every once in awhile I feel like saying “I’m not cooking” and instead electing to go out to eat or let someone else do the cooking.  Of course in today’s environment going out to eat is not possible.  Takeout  yes -eating out at a restaurant, no. So that means someone else has to cook.  And that’s what happened on Sunday night, sort of.

Last week I really wanted Chinese food.  George, who grew up in Detroit had a friend whose family owned a Chinese restaurant.  George spent alot of time there and picked up some mean skills with a wok.  So when I have a taste for Chinese he gets out the cookbooks and starts planning a menu. The meal will always include fried rice and a meat or fish/vegetable combination dish.  Occasionally it can include crab wontons.  This past Sunday the meal included shrimp egg rolls, a chicken and cucumber dish and fried rice.

As in any Chinese dish there is a fair amount of preparation involved.  And this is where the ‘Im Not Cooking” thing fell apart.  Prepping for these three dishes took almost two hours.  Guess who did the prep?  Now, in George’s defense, I offered to do the prep work.  I just didn’t realize how much was involved.

Let’s start with the shrimp egg rolls. The recipe called for cabbage that was nuked in a microwave with a little water, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, shrimp, scallions, garlic, powdered ginger, soy sauce and beaten egg to seal up the egg roll wrappers..  All of this had  to be chopped, measured and combined to marinate before wrapping.

Then there is the fried rice.  Honestly, I always do the prep work for the fried rice so this is not a big deal for me.  Dice up some ham, cut up some scallions, defrost some peas. Done.  George handles the rice and egg component.

The chicken cucumber combination had me slicing a 7 oz. chicken on a diagonal into 1/4’ thick strips.  The cucumber had to be sliced the same way.  The dish also called for cornstarch, egg, scallions, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine and sesame seed oil.

By the time I was done each dish had all of the required ingredients in mise en place containers  that were grouped together by dish.  I had become a sous chef for the night!

When it came time to cook, I made the egg rolls (which were coated in oil and baked in the oven) and George did the rest.

The meal was fabulous  Technically I didn’t cook.

Posted in Chicken, Chinese, Cooking, Family, fish, Food, Kitchen tools, meat, Seafood, shrimp | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Would I Do This Again?”

Every once in awhile in your life you have to ask yourself – Would I Do This Again?  I’m sure you know the feeling.  In the moment you wonder what you got yourself into and after the fact you ask yourself “Would I do This Again” and the answer is usually, Yes!  Well that’s how it went with the Food and Wine cover recipe of Woven Lasagna with Prosciutto and Fresh Spinach Sauce. If you read my previous blog you know that the recipe I intended to make in one day actually took two.  I originally neglected to take into account the resting times – a total of 7.5 hours.  Truth be told this will always be a two day recipe. Make the pasta dough on the first day, roll it out, make the filling,weave the lasagna, chill and bake on the second day.

The recipe itself includes eleven steps – all of them more one or two sentences long. Furthermore, this is not a recipe to be attempted unless you have alot of kitchen toys.  Their recipe calls for making the pasta in a food processor, rolling it out with a pasta machine, making the filling in the food processor, and finally making the sauce in the blender.  I added two extra tools  I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer to make the pasta because that is how I always make my pasta.  And I used an electric knife to cut through the pasta loaf with a minimum of pressure. So, in my case, I used 5 separate tools.

IT is also helpful if there is someone around to lend a hand as you roll out the pasta.  It will be over 3 feet long by the time you get it though the final setting on the machine.  Unless you have GIGANTIC arms there is no way you can feed the pasta through the machine and pull it out the other end on your own.  It would be even more helpful if that same someone cleaning up for you as you go, but I didn’t press my luck!

Here’s another key point.  How many of you think you own a 9×5 loaf pan?  How many of you know for sure?  I have seven loaf pans – not one of them is 9×5.  The closest I came to a 9×5 was my 9×4 pain de mie pan.  It had to do because the only stores currently open in the Albuquerque Metro Area are grocery, hardware and big box store like WalMart.  I wan’t about to traipse all over the metro area looking for a 9×5 loaf pan.  It should also be noted that I could only get Part Skim Ricotta, but it was the recommended brand.  I thought it might make the filling a little runny but that wasn’t the case at all.

So here it is:

Woven Lasagna with Prosciutto and Fresh Spinach Sauce

Woven Lasagna with Prosciutto and Fresh Spinach Sauce

Next time around I will be better prepared for the amount of work involved.  I will do a better job of creating distinct rows of filling.  But all in all I am pretty proud of this dish.  It tastes wonderful and is even better the next day.  I bought some more baby spinach today and we will have the rest of the loaf tonight.

And yes, I WILL do this again. Probably in a month, it’s that good!

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The First Cardinal Rule

By know I should know the First Cardinal Rule of cooking – read the recipe all the way through.  And the second cardinal rule of cooking is read the recipe again! Our ad-hoc change in dinner plans for tonight was the result of my not following the first cardinal rule.  I didn’t read the recipe all the way through this morning and learned, too late, that the dish I wanted to prepare requires the dough to rest a minimum  of 90 minute before you put it in the pasta machine.  Ok, you’re thinking, that’s not so bad. Ah but wait, as they say in those TV commercials, there’s more.  Once assembled the dish has to be refrigerated for a minimum of 6 hours.

So it’s one o’clock in the afternoon.  If I make the pasta dough and let it sit for 90 minutes the earliest I can proceed with the recipe, assuming a 15 minute time frame to make the pasta, is 2:45.  Then the pasta has to be rolled out, cut to size, cooked and cooled. I still needed to make the filling, but I could do that while the pasta dough was resting .  I figured the earliest I could begin assembly would be 3:15.  This is a complicated dish that requires piping and weaving the dough so I figured assembly would take about 30 minutes. That puts me at 3:45.  Then the dish has to be refrigerated for a minimum of 6 hours. That would put me at, conservatively, 9:45.  It takes about 40 minutes to cook so we’d be looking at dinner around 10:25.  I know alot of  cultures in Europe eat later in the evening, but that’s a little late for us!

Plan B  – make the pasta dough this afternoon and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.  Then, tomorrow morning, I’ll start in on recipe again.  With any luck it will be assembled by noon and, since we usually eat around 7, it will have it’s six hours in the refrigerator and still give me time to cook it and get it on the table by 7:15, latest.

Tonight, well, I’m sure there’s something in the freezer I can turn into dinner!

In case you are wondering,  the name of this time-consuming dish  is  Woven Lasagna with Prosciutto and  fresh Spinach Sauce.  It’s on the cover of the May issue of Food and Wine.  I’ll keep you posted on how it goes

 

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