When it comes to pastas, my preference is spaghetti, fettuccine or linguine. I’m not a huge fan of lasagna but then I’m not a huge fan of cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a nice Fontina with red grapes but I’ve never craved cheese like many do.
I married into an Italian family and all the holidays were at Aunt Mallie’s where it was lasagna, sausage, meat balls, lettuce dressed in olive oil and vinegar and a coconut cake. Mallie had the second kitchen in the basement where she turned out trays upon trays of lasagna. The holiday, no matter what, was the same menu.
Lasagna is a dish my husband loves and for his birthday and Xmas, I make two trays. For some reason I can’t trust no bake noodles and I boil up two packages of lasagna noodles. I make a sauce from scratch with what I have around, ground turkey, Italian sausage out of its casing for the meat sauce. The ricotta filling has chopped spinach, egg and Parmesan cheese with copious amounts of mozzarella sprinkled between the layers. The husband is in lasagna Nirvana.
My father-in-law, bless his 86 years, wanted to cook a turkey and all the trimmings. Please note that I have invited him and my brother-in-law (who lives with my father-in-law) to my home but he wants to cook. I’m in the trenches, doing due-diligence for the lasagna prep when I learn my brother-in-law is making lasagna. I was looking forward to the turkey, no matter how dried out my father-in-law makes it.
So this was the Xmas of the two lasagne. Christmas eve we had my lasagna which my husband loves and off to my father-in-laws for lasagna for Xmas day. That was it lasagna, no salad, no nothing…a slab of lasagna. Rob used the no bake noodles, plenty of ricotta and other cheeses and made up the recipe as he went. In all honesty, I couldn't tell the difference between the two. I don’t have to see lasagna for another 6 months. My two trays are packaged and in the freezer to be used by “the husband” when I’m not home to make dinners. As I said earlier, spaghetti is my preference with simple “ala minute” sauce or a long simmering ragu.
Still yearning for the turkey that I never got I have a turkey breast brining in the fridge, salt, sugar, brown sugar, honey, thyme, garlic, sage and a touch of truffle oil. A 6 ¼ turkey breast for two people – you are welcome to come over.