Wednesday, February 24, 2010
We made this a long time ago with the last of our African squash from the garden, but it would be perfect with any winter squash, especially acorn squash. One squash would serve two people.
You could use rice or couscous instead of quinoa if you had those on hand. This could easily be made vegan by omitting the parmesan topping.
1 acorn/carnival/small butternut squash per 2 people
2 grain sausages, diced (we used Field Roast brand, Smoked Apple Sage)
Several fresh sage leaves, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, broken up
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups broth (we used veggie broth)
handful of grated parmesan
For the squash:
Cut in half and remove all the seeds and innards. Roast at about 400 degrees until the squash is tender all the way through.
Meanwhile, roast your walnuts in a hot pan that has a lid. When they start to brown, add the diced grain sausage. When that starts to brown, add the sage. Pour in the broth and bring it to a boil and then add your quinoa and cover, lowering the heat. It should be fully cooked in 15-20 minutes.
Stuff your squash halves with the stuffing mixture, add cheese, and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. Serve with a salad or roasted vegetables.
Monday, February 22, 2010
This is the very first time I ever made a lasagna with meat! I made this for the hubby one night while he was studying for his comprehensive exams for his PhD. He PASSED! Now all he has to do is write a dissertation....no biggie.
Anyway, this recipe is adapted from Gourmet. Theirs calls from pancetta and they used beef chuck--I used venison instead for a lighter and leaner version. I also cut the eggs in half (they used 4!!!) in the ricotta filling.
For bolognese sauce:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1-2 pounds ground venison
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
For Ricotta filling:
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach,thawed
2 (15-ounce) containers whole-milk ricotta
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3/4 cup whole milk, divided
For assembling lasagne:
12 lasagna noodles (from 1 box)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Make Sauce: heat oil in a 12-to 14-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Cook onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden and softened, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Add venison and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up any lumps, until meat is no longer pink, 6 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in wine, milk, tomato paste, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated but sauce is still moist, about 1 hour.
- Make ricotta filling: put spinach in a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and twist to squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
- Whisk together ricotta, eggs, parmesan, nutmeg, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Transfer 1 1/2 cups ricotta mixture to another bowl and whisk in 1/4 cup milk; set aside.
- Whisk spinach into remaining filling with remaining 1/2 cup milk.
- Assemble and bake lasagna: preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
- Soak no-boil noodles in a bowl of very warm water until pliable but not softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Place on a kitchen towel (it's not necessary to pat noodles dry) or if using regular noodles, boil until not quite al dente
- Spread 1 1/2 cups bolognese sauce in baking pan and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parmesan. Cover with 3 noodles, leaving space in between.
- Spread half of spinach filling on top, then 1 cup bolognese sauce, and top with 1 tablespoon parmesan and 3 noodles; repeat.
- Top with remaining bolognese sauce, 1 tablespoon parmesan, and remaining 3 noodles. Pour reserved ricotta mixture over top and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan.
- Cover pan tightly with foil and bake 50 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake until top is browned in spots, about 15 minutes more. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes before cutting.