Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Arugula Sausage Lasagna with Amavi Cellars Semillon

Lula scamming for leftovers

Hi folks,

Well, I'm jumping on the blogging bandwagon, better late than never. I said I'd start a blog as soon as I had high speed internet and well, that was awhile ago. So friends, family (perhaps exclusively Mom and JJ) welcome to a portal for those of us who like to talk about what we ate, what we're gonna eat and what you ate. I'm going to give you the good, the bad, the ugly and the stuff Lula managed to steal off the counter. Its called Lula's Kitchen because she's my biggest fan and honestly, she's eaten quite a bit of it. Lula should start a blog called, "How to enjoy leftovers mixed with kibble and How to steal freshly baked goodies off the counter." Until that comes out, here's my blog...

Dinner tonight!
I finally did one of those things I always fantasize about and read in career women's magazine tips... I made dinner ahead of time! How delightful. Since I'm not much a career woman at all, this allowed JJ and I time to see a matinee of "Up in the Air" and scurry home to dinner that needed a mere 10 minute warm up. Lasagna, always a pretty pedestrian dish in my book and given my love/hate relationship with cheese, not a huge favorite of mine. But I slung this together with what was on hand and was pretty pleased. Good luck!

Arugula Sausage Lasagna.
Fit for a small family or serves two with leftovers.
-8 lasagna noodles
-1 16 oz. jar tomato sauce of choice (I find most canned tomato sauce also pretty pedestrian, but Muir Glenn Organics puts out a pretty zesty Tomato Vodka sauce. I bought mine at Grocery Outlet for $2.99, so keep your eyes out!)
-4 oz fresh arugula
-2 c. fresh ricotta (see note below for homemade ricotta tips)
-1 c. grated swiss cheese
- 2 links veggie sausage. (I like Tofurky Spicy Italian or I'd probably like real pork sausage even more. Do as you will.)
-Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling, salted water for no more than 5 min. Drain. Layer 8x8" pan with 1/2 of tomato sauce, then cover with handful of arugula leaves. Spread 4 lasagna noodles across, trimming when needed to make fit to pan. Spread evenly with 1/2 of ricotta cheese, sprinkled with salt and pepper. Add half of the sliced sausage, more arugula and dollup more tomato sauce across layer evenly. Cover again with 4x noodles. Add remaining arugula, topped with remaining ricotta, topped with remaining sauce and finish with the cup grated swiss.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, then cover with a reserved piece of foil and bake for 15 minutes more. Serve warm or cool to room temp, refridgerate and re-heat later to serve. We enjoyed this with a green salad tossed with a spicy maple vinaigrette and warmed seeded baguette slices smeared with yogurt butter spread and Spike.

* Homemade Ricotta. The truly easy version...
- Rinse your largest soup pot with cold water. Heat 1 gallon whole milk and 1 tsp salt over low/med heat. Let the milk start to steam and create small bubbles on the surface. It should take at least 10 minutes to get to this stage. If you'd like, you can use a thermometer and wait for it to read about 180F. At this stage, take pot off heat and add a generous 1/3 cup white vinegar. Stir gently as curdles form and let rest for 10-20 minutes. Prepare a colander with doubled up layers of cheesecloth (These can be bought at most grocery stores for a few dollars and should be rinsed out and saved to use again!) When curdles seem done forming, skim off with your largest slotted spoon. Take the time to tap your spoon, draining off as much moisture as possible. When all curds have been removed, take the edges of your cheesecloth and tie them around your kitchen faucet. ( Or other convenient hanging place). Use cheese at will, within 3 days. Reserve leftover whey for baking bread, replacing water for cooking pasta or pouring over your dogs kibble.

** We opened a bottle of 2007 Amavi Cellars, Columbia Valley, Semillon with this meal. I've read alot about Semillon lately and from what I heard, I was skeptical... oily, fat and honeyed are often descriptions and Semillon is very seldom planted in North America. It was fabulous. Very big and effervescent without being crisp and light. A great white wine in winter months, when you crave more hearty substantial food and drink. Lots of tropical fruit, without any cloying sweetness. From the Walla Walla AVA, so nice I'd drink it twice.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! Consider yourself bookmarked. Keep writing because I'll read along with your mom and JJ :-)