Saturday, August 15, 2009

The great lasagne adventure

Let it be known, I am a rubbish cook. I mean, I burn smilie faces. Annabel Karmel has nothing to worry about when it comes to me.

In fact my renowned crappiness in the kitchen means that when I actually cook something that does not poison the whole house or ming like you wouldn't believe then I feel ridiculously proud of myself.

Well, it began last week with the lovely lunch at Anne Dunlop's house where she made a yummy vegetarian lasagne.

I thought to myself that I could give it a go - there was no tricky white sauce to deal with, just a concoction made of ricotta - and so when I went to do my weekly shop I stocked up on the ingredients I was faily sure Anne had used. I bought tinned tomatoes, fresh basil, broccoli and ricotta.

I was sorted.

But I couldn't find a recipe (and Anne, I believe is on the other side of the world just now and too busy to worry about such matters as sending recipes to me).

I googled - but nothing seemed to fit.

So I posted on Facebook and my friends came to the rescue - except now the lasagne had morphed into some kind of spinach cannelloni hybrid and there was more cheese to be bought.

So I went back to Tesco and bought yet more ricotta, and some spinach (the broccoli has been pureed for the baby...) and some mozarella.

And I went home and prepared to cook - but no, I didn't have any oregano, or parmesan or creme fraiche. So I went back to Tesco - the cost of this dinner now adding up to about £3000* due to all the other things I remembered I had to buy in the supermarket each visit.

And I still wasn't convinced the whole thing wasn't going to go to hell when I - with my burn water cooking skills - got my hands on it.

Meanwhile hubby has announced he hates ricotta and isn't a big fan of spinach while the boy says he doesn't want lasagne, he wants pepperoni pizza....

I opened the wine.

And I started cooking - chopping garlic (my hands still pong...) and shredding basil leaves an wilting spinach like a good un. I even put on my apron and felt all "uber mammy" about it.

Here I was preparing food for my family (who wouldn't eat it... but still) and there wasn't a hint of a fish finger or a jar of pre-prepared sauce anywhere.

I grated, I chopped, I sprinkled, I added pinches of things - herbs and seasoning and I drank more wine.

I cooked it all and it worked out okay. In fact it was bloody lovely. And even the "I hate ricotta" husband ate some and declared it delicious. The boy tasted it - but opted for the pizza anyway (he's fussy like that) and there is a tonne of it left. We'll be eating it for a week, no doubt.
And yes, I am so proud of the fact that I have to blog about it. And Yes, I know that is sad.


Nicki MacRae said...

It looks very yummy! :-D

I just use cottage cheese instead of white sauce in mine very often.

mrsC said...

It looks gorgeous!! Well done lady.

BTW, lasagne freezes beautifully and the best way to get rid of the smell of garlic on your fingers is to run them under the cold water while rubbing them with anything stainless steel :)

mammydiaries said...

Ha Ha! I hear you! I went to my "cooking friend's" house for lunch the other day and she made the loveliest omelettey type dish . I practiced making it for lunch twice before presenting it to the family for saturday brekkie yesterday:)

Sofia said...

PMSL Claire, I wanna come and cook with you!

Claire said...

I am crap with sauces but this recipe works without fail provided you stir it ALL THE TIME til it's thickened
Add a big handful of grated cheddar and Bob's your mother's brother. Your lasagne looks delish tho :)

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