Posts Tagged With: lasagna

Nidi di Rondini

San Marinese

NIDI DI RONDINI

INGREDIENTS

1 12-ounce package lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup marinara sauce (⅓ cup more later)
1¼ cups grated mozzarella
½ pound prosciutto or deli-sliced ham
⅓ cup marinara sauce
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

SPECIAL UTENSILS

8″-x-8″ casserole dish
kitchen scissors or scissors
aluminum foil

Serves 5. Takes 1 hours 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions on package. (Do not let noodles stick together. You might need to cook them in batches.) Drain noodles. Spray flat surface. Place lasagna noodles flat on flat surface. (Do not let them touch each other.)

While noodles cook, add butter to pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Gradually add in flour. Stir frequently until well blended. Gradually add milk until the sauce thickens. Stir frequently. Add salt. Stir until blended. This is the bechamel sauce. Remove pan from heat.

Pour ⅔ cup marinara sauce into casserole dish. Smooth with spatula. Spread bechamel sauce evenly over all the noodles. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over the bechamel sauce. Place proscuitto strips over the bechamel-mozzarella lasagna noodles. (If necessary, trim or fold prosciutto strips so that they are narrower than the noodles.)

Roll up lasagna noodles so that they form a tight cylinder. Place lasagna cylinders upright and close together in casserole dish. (If necessary, place wadded-up balls of tin foil in casserole dish to keep lasagna cylinders from falling over.) Make four ½” cuts at the top of each lasagna cylinders. Pull the lasagna between the cuts down and out a bit. so that they look like rose petals.

Drizzle ⅓ cup marinara sauce over the lasagna cylinders. Sprinkle cylinders with Parmesan cheese. (Not so much that you can’t see the rose-petal design of the lasagna cylinders.) Bake for 35 minutes or until the tops of the cylinders turn crisp and golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) Nidi di rondini tastes great. Anyone making this entree will be immediately be hailed as an amazing chef and host.

2) If you are up for a Nobel Prize, you would do well to serve this dish to the judges.

3) As of press time, it is not illegal to do this.

4) So, what are you waiting for?

5) Nidi di rondini comes from the great, but tiny country of San Marino.

6) Despite being the size of a rather large postage stamp (24 square miles, 61 square kilometers), the San Marinese have preserved their independence for 1,816 years.

7) The above number is accurate as of the time of writing. Please increase the above number by one for every year after 2021.

8) Anyway, how did this tiny country maintain its independence from many other countries with much bigger armies such as: the Roman Empire, the Papal States, the French Empire under Napoleon, Italy, and Hitler’s Germany?

9) Simple. As culinary historians will tell you, soldiers with red hair make the fiercest warriors in the world. San Marino has always had fighting redheads. The chefs of this happy land commemorates their heroes with these rolled-up lasagna rolls topped with marinara sauce.

10) However, the most famous fighters in the world come from Scotland. Neighboring England failed for centuries to conquer the Scots, The English armies quailed, broke ranks and fled in terror whenever they caught sight of all that Scottish red hair.

11) The only success the English had came from their archers. But, of course, the archers were to far away to see the hair color of the Scottish pikemen.

12) One wonders why the English army never colored their hair red. Then the Scottish warriors would have fled whenever came in contact with the English.

13) What if? What if all the countries of the world made their soldiers die their hair?

14) All armies fear fighting fierce redheads. With all armies comprised of gingers, no army would dare attacking any other.

15) Peace would break out.

16) There you have it. Dye the hair of all combatants red.

17) I see a Nobel Peace Prize in my future, as long as I remember to serve nidi di rondini to the judges.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Picture Of Entrees, Desserts, And Appetizers From My Forthcoming Cookbook

Ice cream soda to lemongrass chicken to niter kibeh to pepper pot.

 

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Beef Lasagna

Italian Entree

BEEF LASAGNA

INGREDIENTS

water
1/4 teaspoon salt (1/2 teaspoon more later)
12 ounces lasagna noodles
3 garlic cloves
1 white onion
8 ounces mozzarella cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese (2 tablespoons more later)
4 peppercorns
1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup red wine
1 26 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon basil
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Meat MagicTM spice
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt (1/4 teaspoon more earlier)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup more earlier)

UTENSILS

9-inch x 13-inch baking dish
cooking scissors (If your baking dish is 8-inches x 8-inches, for example)
spice grinder
no-stick spray

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Boil water in large pot. Add salt and lasagna noodles. Cook noodles according to directions on package or for about 9 minutes on high heat. Remove noodles and set aside. Make sure the lasagna noodles are all separate after you do this. (If not, you’ll need to add another chunk of time separating the noodles that cling to each other with a tenacity rivaling a salesman pitching to a hot prospect.)

Peel and mince onion and garlic cloves. Grate, chop, fold, mutilate, and spindle mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Mix these cheeses together along with the ricotta cheese. Use spice grinder to well, grind peppercorns. (If you don’t have a spice grinder you can gnash your teeth in rage, use 1/4 teaspoon pepper, or shrug your shoulders in the belief that no one will notice.)

Add ground beef, onion, and garlic to frying pan. Cook at medium heat for about 5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.
Add red wine, spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, basil, bay leaf, meat spice, oregano, salt, thyme, and peppercorns. Cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Use no-stick spray on baking dish. Put a layer of lasagna, most likely 3 side-by-side noodles on the dish. If the noodles are longer than your baking dish, snip off the excess length with your scissors.

In this recipe, 9 noodles will make one lasagna dish with 2 layers of meat sauce. Reserve about 1/2 cup meat sauce. Divide remaining meat sauce and cheese equally between layers.

Cover this first layer of noodles with a layer of meat sauce and a layer of cheese. Add a second layer of noodles, meat sauce, and cheese. Add a third layer of noodles. Spoon just a little meat sauce atop the top layer along with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Put glass lid or aluminum foil on top of baking dish.

Cook lasagna in covered baking dish in oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Cook uncovered for an additional 15 minutes or until bubbly. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes more.

Serve to adoring guests. Become lifelong friends with any who offer to clean up.

TIDBITS

1) Lasagna was first developed in England in the 14th century.

2) The English version had cinnamon and saffron instead of tomatoes.

3) Saffron is incredibly expensive. It runs about $170 an ounce today. Tomatoes cost $2 to $3 a pound.

4) This price differential put an incredible pressure on English cooks to substitute tomatoes for saffron.

5) Many more tomatoes are widely grown in France and Italy. English cooks turned there eyes to these regions.

6) Most historians believe England under Edward III invaded France  in 1347 for various dynastic reasons.

7) But there was pressure on King Edward by his kingdom’s cooks to secure a source of lasagna ingredients far cheaper than saffron.

8) The Hundred Years War lasted until 1453, which shows just how fiercely people will fight for their tomatoes.

9) I fear a war over saffron.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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