Local Lasagna

We happen to be going down to Florida today for a wedding.  This means that when we were planning for dinner yesterday, we aimed to use some items up in the fridge that might go bad by the time we get back, like milk, some cheese, and greens.  We had been throwing around ideas, since it might be one of the last meals we cook for a while, and after reading the most recent post from Diary of a Locavore, I was at least convinced that a lasagna was in order.  Theresa, luckily agreed.  And so we began the home-made lasagna event last night, with me grinding whole wheat flour and making pasta dough.

I will tell you that pasta dough is perhaps one of Marion’s favorite foods, and she usually demands that we hand over the dough or pay the consequences.  Last night was no different:

"Wait a minute..."

"Is that what I think it is?"

"I'm going to chew right through this mixing bowl to the dough if you don't give it to me!"

"Still waiting. Don't make me get into the bowl"

"Fine then. A birdy has to take a situation like this into their own wings."

"Nom nom nom nom. Pasta dough for me. So there."

Birdy has a bit of an attitude and is spoiled, and as a result is also a fat little birdy.  At least it was whole wheat flour pasta dough.  🙂

While I worked on pasta dough, Theresa worked on the fillings:

A bechamel Sauce, with rehydrated mushrooms in it.

A tomato sauce consisting on oven roasted tomatoes and shredded zucchini. Both were frozen items from our freezer.

Baby Rainbow Swiss Chard.

Baby Rainbow Swiss Chard with Kale cooked with butter and garlic. Yum!

Finished pasta dough, cut in rectangles for lasagna.

Once we got all the ingredients cooked and assembled, and we got a big pot of water boiling, we started the layering of lasagna.  This was truly a team effort. To put down layers of fillings, cook the pasta in batches to immediately layer, and take pictures of the event, really requires two sets of hands.  But it was fun, and well worth it.

Layers of pasta.

Layers of Greens.

Layers of Mozzarella.

Layers of tomato and bechamel sauce, and grated sharp cheese.

We set that bad boy in the oven at 400 F until it was nice and bubbly. While it baked, I made a quick grated golden beet and carrot salad with orange juice dressing.

Grated Carrot, Golden Beet and Orange Salad. A very sunny and appropriate salad for the day before flying to Florida.

The whole kitchen was smelling great, we pulled out the lasagna and it was perfect.

Home-Made Local Lasagna, made with whole wheat pasta, a mushroom bechamel sauce, a roasted tomato zucchini sauce, garlicky baby swiss chard and kale, mozzarella and shredded sharp goat cheese. Whoa.

This was perhaps the most perfect lasagna I had ever tasted.  A perfect combination of flavors and textures.  The subtle earthiness of the mushroom bechamel sauce contrasted lovely with the brightness of the roasted tomato, just as the mellow mozzarella complimented the sharp goaty cheese.  The greens were delicate and delish.

Oh my.  Food coma.

Delish layers.

And the coolest thing.  This lasagna was really very local.  Everything was local except for pepper, butter, a little bit of olive oil and nutmeg.  Not too shabby.

When we finished layering the lasagna, we found we had made a little bit too much pasta.  So, we decided to make a decadent dessert with it.  Theresa pan cooked the noodles in butter, similar in idea to Food Fashionista’s dessert.

The resulting noodles were really texturally something impressive. Crispy, but still delicate and toothesome.

We had leftover cream in the fridge that we needed to use up before we left (poor us).  So, Theresa made whipped cream and a chocolate ganache to serve with the fried noodles.

Fried noodles with chocolate ganache and whipped cream.

Nom.

It was a very decadent final meal before leaving for our trip.  A nice celebration of our home cooking, if you will.  Today, we are flying out to Florida and are going to sample some lovely weather.  Poor us, I’m sure you New Englander’s aren’t jealous in the slightest :-).

Our food plans are pretty ‘up in the air’ whilst in Florida, but we are certainly going to have a local focus while there. I hope to get a better idea of what is available during this time of the year- Florida has a very different growing season compared to ours.  You can expect some posting to happen over the next week… probably about local food in Florida, and maybe something else…. who knows, we might surprise you. We will be back next week and will probably begin our New England local foodery and consistent blogging then.

I wish you all a great week of decent weather, and good local eats.  Hang in there… we’re in March, which means that eventually something will not-so-suddenly change and something to do with a lamb will make us all a lot happier.

Local Sources:

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2 Responses to Local Lasagna

  1. cheryl says:

    wow. the next time you make that dinner I want to be there. It looks s00000 good. Marion can join in and share the meal. Have fun at the wedding

  2. Mubs says:

    You two are truly amazing. The lasagne looks great. I hope you have some in the freezer for when you return. You’ve almost inspired me to unearth the pasta maker, which alas I haven’t used in years. I love that you grind your own flour.

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