Tag Archives: pasta

Lasagna, Love, and Lowell

For last weekend’s Green Goddess reunion, I prepared a recipe that has become a classic in my repertoire — roasted butternut squash lasagna.  For me, a “classic” is a recipe that friends and family request in advance of get-togethers, one I’ve made so many times that I no longer refer to the actual recipe that first inspired it, and often, one that invokes extra special memories.

This recipe hits a home run on all 3 points!

I first made this recipe for a big work-related gathering in February 2001.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made it since, but I can tell you that it was the meal I made in advance of our daughter’s birth and froze, which I then served at our first family dinner with my parents-in-law when KC was 3 days old.  I can tell you that it was one of the many offerings at a combination wedding party, housewarming, and meet-the-new baby weekend that we hosted several weeks later.  And I can tell you that it is one of the recipes that comes to mind whenever the Green Goddesses are gathering and whenever I start to feel the first crisp fall air of the season.

But none of those things are the most memorable thing about this recipe for me.  The most memorable thing about this recipe for me is that it inspired the only marriage proposal I’ve ever received.  Now, you might be thinking that my husband must REALLY like this dish.  But you’d be wrong.  Peter likes this dish, but he’d take a classic lasagna over this one in a heartbeat.  One of the ironies of my life is that the only marriage proposal to which I’ve ever been a party did not involve my husband.  It came from the late Lowell Trede, father of one of my best friends, who was the recipient of a pan of this lasagna that was leftover from that very first gathering where it was served.  That’s right….I sent a pan of lasagna home with Teri, who gave it to her father. The pan came back spotlessly clean and accompanied by an endearing marriage proposal!  Lowell LOVED this lasagna!  And I adored Lowell for his enthusiasm!  But I held out, after promising Lowell more lasagna….and the rest is history! 

Make this lasagna and share it with the people in your life.  Let me know what happens!

Ricotta and Chard Cannelloni — Chopping Block Report

Ricotta and Red Chard Cannelloni was on the chopping block on Saturday.  As I started to follow the recipe, it quickly became clear that we were going to part ways.  The original recipe called for twice as much ricotta and half as much chard as I thought was reasonable.  And I really wanted to bring walnuts and bacon into the recipe via a topping to please the carnivore(s) in the house.

So, my version packs a lot more veggies, and offers a smoky crunchy topping of crumbled bacon and walnuts to offer some contrast of textures.  The result, Ricotta and Chard Cannelloni with Walnut Cream Sauce, is something I’ll make again.  This was a great way to use chard, and it was a nice departure from pasta with tomato-based sauces.

Let There Be (Light) Lasagne!

I have an idea in my head of what classic lasagne is like.  Not surprisingly, it is how I remember my mother making it.  But there are a lot of lasagne recipes out there.  I reviewed several on epicurious.com before making this one, and I got a kick out of reading the comments on the recipes.  This one for a Sausage Lasagne was described by some recipe reviewers as a delightful departure from the norm.  This intrigued me, because it just about exactly how I would make lasagne if I were not consulting a recipe.

sausage lasagne

I made it a little lighter, by reducing the amount of cheese between the layers and using a pretty lean sausage, and we sure didn’t miss those extra fat grams.  I also used some amazing fresh rosemary & roasted garlic pasta that I had picked up at our local Italian market. We never figured out why reviewers thought it was nontraditional, but I’d make this recipe again in a heartbeat!