Uncategorized


This is by far my favorite lasagna recipe.  It has an amazing white sauce mixed in with the meat sauce that just puts it over the top.  The butternut squash also adds a refreshing change to this classic dish.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

4 slices of thick bacon

• a pinch of cinnamon
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1 carrot, finely chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
• 2 handfuls of fresh herbs (sage, oregano, rosemary, thyme)
• olive oil
• 1 1/2 lb. ground turkey
• 2 14oz cans of good-quality plum tomatoes
• 2 glasses of red wine or water
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 butternut squash, halved, deseeded and roughly chopped
• 1 tablespoon cilantro seeds, bashed
• 1 dried red chili, bashed
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 14oz fresh lasagne sheets *
• 14oz mozzarella, torn up

for the white sauce
• 1 pint crème fraîche
• 3 anchovies, finely chopped
• 2 handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
optional: a little milk

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a large casserole-type pan slowly fry the pancetta and cinnamon until golden, then add the onion, carrot, garlic and herbs and about 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix together, then add the beef and pork. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the canned tomatoes and the wine or water. Add the bay leaves and bring to the boil. Then get some greaseproof paper, wet it and place it on top of the pan with a lid placed on top as well. Then place in the preheated oven for 2 hours or simmer on the hob over a gentle heat for around an hour and a half. Rub your butternut squash slices with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and the bashed-up cilantro seeds and chili. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for the last 45 minutes of cooking the sauce. When the sauce is done, season to taste and put to one side. Mix together your crème fraîche, anchovies, and a handful of Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper. You may need to loosen the mixture with a little milk.

Turn the oven to 400ºF. To assemble the lasagne, rub an earthenware lasagne dish with olive oil, lay some sheets of lasagne over the bottom and drape them over the sides. Add a layer of meat, a little white sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Break the butternut squash into pieces and use this as one layer, then repeat the layers, finishing with a layer of pasta covered in white sauce. Tear over the mozzarella and sprinkle with some extra Parmesan. Cook in the preheated oven for 30–35 minutes, or until golden.

*Note: Jamie uses fresh pasta, and while I think that is wonderful, I usually make this with your run-of-the-mill boxed pasta sheets.  If you make it the night before, you don’t even have to boil the pasta…just let it sit in the pan with all the other layered goodies and they will soften naturally.

Baby Grant is growing so fast!  He’s sitting up on his own and babbling up a storm.  He’s also eating baby food.  So far everything I’ve made has been super easy and can just steam on the stove while we’re eating dinner and be mashed up for the next day.  His favorite so far?  Pears.  The site that’s been most helpful is this: http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com.  It has a whole list of what foods are appropriate for which age and various recipes.  The best part is that it tastes SO much better than what’s in those nasty little jars and is very cost effective.  I can’t wait till he can eat finger foods!

This recipe was one of the first of the Barefoot Contessa’s that I made.  It’s also what got me completely hooked on her.  She managed to hurdle two impossible feats in my eyes: making chicken skin taste good and retaining moist white meat.  As and FYI, I also add a sprig of fresh rosemary into the cavity of the bird with the thyme, garlic, etc.  I really cannot stress enough how wonderfully simple and flavorful it is.  I hope you enjoy.

1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Olive oil

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

    Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

    Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

     

    …up those little cheeks.

    Sorry for not posting more lately, but we’ve been a bit preoccupied over here with this wee little one (and who can blame me).    Stay tuned, though.  More posts are coming soon.

    He’s here…our little Grant Owen, weighing in at 6lb 13oz.  We couldn’t be more thrilled.  He’s shaping up to be an amazing kid and we are overwhelmed with the blessing he already is in our lives.  To celebrate, Daddy made dinner: steak, veggies, fresh bread, and wine.

    Hi All!  Just wanted to let you know that the cookie post has been updated to include the recipe.  I hope you enjoy!

    for more posts.  I’ve been under the weather these past few days, but I’m up and running and have recipes to fill you in on.  Check the page out tomorrow (Same Bat Time, same Bat Channel).*

    *I used to love watching the old Batman TV series with my dad on Saturdays.  Batman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and My Fair Lady—–and I loved it all (even the girlie musical).

    Next Page »