Monday, September 05, 2005

Atkins = insanity

Gotta love the Italians. Never mind Dante, Michaelangelo, the Medicis, Petrarch, Calvino, Levi, etc etc. They gave us pasta and amazing wine and an attitude toward food that North America would do well to learn.

So yes, the lasagna worked out ... which is good considering that I now have enough to keep me fed for a week. It really is one of those all-or-nothing meals, isn't it? Either you make it for a large group of people, or you commit yourself to an awful lot of leftovers. Both eventualities are happy-making; in the first case, you get to have a sumptuous dinner party, in the latter case ... well, cold lasagna is one of those absolute goods in life. And actually fun and easy, assuming you have a good sauce as the base.

I'd love to be able to claim original authorship of the meat sauce I use, but it's more or less totally ripped off from Food Network illuminatus Mario Battali. But when something works, it works -- though it is highly recommended that vegans, vegetarians and people with heart trouble not come within a city block of this sauce:

4-6 slices of bacon
1 package stewing beef
1/2 lb ground pork
3-6 hot Italian sausages, pricked
4-6 cans crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
2 tsp basil
1 onion, diced,
4-6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup basalmic vinegar
2 carrots, grated

Heat your stew pot over a medium burner. Fry the bacon in the olive oil until crispy and the fat has been rendered out. Remove bacon (as it's recommended you start this sauce around noon, you might as well make yourself a BLT now). Add onions, garlic and sausages. Sautee until golden.

While those ingredients are getting to know each other, brown your stewing beef in a separate skillet. Deglaze the onions, garlic and sausages with the red wine. Add beef to the pot, then brown the pork. Add it as well. Toss in spices, vinegar, and grated carrots. Add crushed tomatoes and mix everything together. Bring to a mild boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer. Let sit over low heat for 5-7 hours (seriously -- this ain't an instant meal).

When the sauce is about ready, remove the sausages. You can do two things with them: save them to make sandwiches with, or slice them up and use them as a layer in your lasagna (I did the latter tonight).

I'll skip the lasagna assembly ... it's pretty paint-by-numbers.

A nice way to round out the last evening of summer. It's a shame I do not have a balcony. I did however watch the second episode of season four of Six Feet Under (I watched the first on friday). Disk two is on order from Zip ....

Some Buffy Trivia: In the Six Feet episode I watched tonight, Claire goes with a friend to a poetry reading (oh, so many bad memories), which featured, among other things, a weasly looking little guy who reads a terrible poem about his ex-girlfriend's clitorous. The guy seemed really familiar -- and I suddenly realized he was Tom Lenk, who played Andrew on Buffy -- the wimpy member of the geek trio in seasons 6 & 7.

Glad to see he's still getting work, but creepy to hear him speaking in explicit terms about female genitalia.


Femme d'ailleurs said...

You just made me drool, over your lasagna of course. I will have to try out the recipe.
Now this is going to sound really bad and please forgive my asking, but I`ve always thought it was spelled clitoris (??). Cheers.

Chris in NF said...

dammit. yes.

I knew it was wrong when I wrote it, but my dictionary is in my office and I wasn't too keen on doing an internet search. ;-)

iceman said...

Looks like you've just signed up for a few more runs up Signal Hill!!Smells great I bet.