27 January 2011

Frankenstein lagasna.

I just ate oatmeal and crumpets with jam for dinner. Was it delicious? Of course. But it's a pretty good indicator of how inspired I am this winter to cook much. (Brad had a big lunch and opted for a chicken noodle soup for dinner.) That being said, on Saturday, I was immediately inspired by my new Pyrex to make lasagna.

I didn't have a lot in the fridge and it was snowing so I was too lazy to go out to the store, but I threw some stuff together and said a little prayer... As always, I had plenty of help in the kitchen.

Dogsitting makes for a full house!

I had exactly enough leftover lasagna noodles for two layers of noodlage in my new, smaller-sized lasagna dish. I had maybe a cup of ricotta, which I mixed with 1/2 cup or so of grated Parmesan. I lined the bottom of the dish with a few spoonfuls of tomato-basil sauce. Then I layered some noodles. I topped that with a 1/2 cup or so of canned pumpkin, a handful of fresh spinach, half of the ricotta mixture, a handful of shredded mozzarella, a spoonful or two of canned tomatoes, salt, pepper, and some dried basil. Times two. Of course, I forgot I actually needed three levels of noodles to do two layers of filling, but I left the top "open face" and crossed my fingers. On top? Homemade bechamel. The fancy bechamel I made over Xmas from the Mainstreet Ventures cookbook. So decadent. So delicious. I covered it up and baked it in the oven for 50 minutes. Out, cover off, sprinkled some Parmesan and some basil, back in for 15 minutes. Out, and time for the grand reveal.

It looked so good I couldn't stop giggling. You're supposed to let it set for 15 minutes, but forget that! We dug right in.

This is another one of those times where I really have to just pat myself on the back a little. I was ooh-ing and aah-ing through this whole meal (Brad liked it too!). It was so creamy and flavorful and I'm just so madly in love with this bechamel. And, good news, the un-noodle-topped 2nd layer was actually perfect -- you get a super creamy top w/o having to go cheese crazy on top of an extra layer of noodles. So it's totally healthy, right? Always extra pleasing when something you just throw together ends up tasting even better than something you may follow step by step from a fancy recipe.

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