Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dark Days Dinner #10: Lasagna

I finally motivated to make Italian again.

And it was worth it.

Lasagna has a lot of steps - even more when you make the cheese and pasta from scratch, but it sure tasted good. That said, we once again found ourselves eating dinner at nine at night, so that could have impacted our opinion of the taste... 

(Another note to self: when the Little Bug does not start his nap until 3pm and you want him to go to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour, WAKE him up before 5pm or you'll lose even more of your evening than you usually do.)

I started the project the night before, making a gallon/pound of fresh mozzarella. It was easier this time than the last batch, and I think the trick was not over-working the curds.  I followed more closely the directions that Kingsolver gave in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and I really did have it done in 32 minutes, start to finish. 

Then in the morning I made, from the mozzarella whey plus one more half gallon of milk, another batch of ricotta.  I'll post my thoughts on that separately again, but suffice it to say that this time I got a fair bit more final volume, and the amount was just perfect for my one big tray of lasagna.

In the afternoon, I started both the pasta, and the sauce, and assembled and baked the whole thing later in the day. 

Here's what I put in it:

Garlic (from my father's garden - 6 mi)
Onions (from our garden)
Olive Oil (not-local)
Dried Basil and Oregano (not-local)
Salt and Pepper (not local)
Dried Oyster mushrooms (from Blue Oyster Cultivation - ~10 mi)
Canned San Marzano whole tomatos (from our garden)
Canned San Marzano tomato sauce (from our garden)
Ground Venison (from my father's property - 6 mi)
Heavy cream (Hillcrest Dairy - 14 mi)

Fresh spinach (Trumansburg via Ithaca Farmer's Market - ~12 mi)
Fresh Shiitake mushrooms (from Blue Oyster Cultivation - ~ 10 mi)

Fresh Mozzarella (milk from Hillcrest Dairy - ~14 mi)
Rennet and Citric Acid (source unknown)
Fresh Ricotta (milk from Hillcrest Dairy - ~14 mi)
Pecorino Romano (Wegmans - source unknown)

Lasagna Noodles
Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (New Hope Mills "mostly" NY grown wheat)
Eggs (backyard)
Olive Oil (not local)
Salt (not local)

How local was I / What did I learn?
  • Locality described above. 
    • Next summer I'm definately going to dry or freeze my herbs so they too can be local.
  • Making pasta is getting easier/faster each time I do it.
  • I really love mushrooms.
  • I really love lasagna leftovers.
  • The Bug really loves home-made pasta, which in turn really makes me happy.
When we finally did get to sit down to eat our then luke-warm but still delicious lasagna, we opened another bottle of home made San Giovese wine to drink with it.

 Life is good.

1 comment:

  1. This is a test of the comment system...


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