Sunday, March 01, 2009

Weekend Recap!

Just a quick recap from the weekend.

Friday the boy and I stayed in, I made cheese and black bean enchiladas (this was NOT on the meal plan but since I had forgotten that Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, we had pasta and sauce on Wednesday, guess the ham and scalloped potatoes will once again have to wait) and we caught up on some DVR and a couple of movies. One was Across the Universe which we liked, but thought there were some parts that were a little out there.
The music was awesome though and I loved the cameo with Bono. The music actually reminded me and took us back to the Cirque de Soleil show that we saw in Vegas, Love, which if you get a chance to see it, is wonderful.
We also watched The Women. I know the main reason we did not see this when it came out in the theater was because it was just a little too female for the boy. There was not a single male in the whole movie. But I really liked it and it made me remember just how much I really like Meg Ryan. Did anyone else see this movie? I thought she looked gorgeous in this movie and the boy even remarked that she could be Jennifer Anniston's sister.
Saturday we spent the day running errands and getting ready for our Mardi Gras party. (The King Cake)We did not invite a ton of people, just a close group of friends. I decorated while the boy napped and then he helped by getting the bar set up and starting a fire. The girls arrived early to help me prep a couple of the dishes. All in all it turned out to be a really fun night.

Today we were supposed to volunteer at the Minnesota Food and Wine Show. The boy, sister J, T and another friend did. But unfortunately, I have been having some problems with my right arm and shoulder for the past month, and I did something on Saturday which made it flame up again, so much so that even after the party, late night and a couple of Advil PM's I did not sleep and was in a great deal of pain. I was incredibly upset about this, but in a way, it is my own fault and I need have it looked at. So they went on with out me, T and I had so much fun last year, I was really bummed.

One of the new dishes I made for Saturday was a huge success and very delicious, I will definitely make it again. Here is the recipe:

Mardi Gras Lasagne: Lasagne di Carnevale

Recipe courtesy Mario Batali

Show: Molto MarioEpisode: Carnevale is Mardi Gras


  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1/2 pound piece beef brisket, ground
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more to taste
  • 2 cups Basic Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 recipe egg pasta, rolled out to 1 sheet (see attached)
  • 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto cotto, cut into 1/4-inch dice


In a 10 to 12-inch braising pan, or a Dutch oven, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil over a high flame until hot but not smoking. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, egg, parsley, bread crumbs, salt and pepper, to taste, and 2 tablespoons of grated Parmigian-Reggiano. Using a wooden spoon, mix until well combined. Using your hands, mould the meat mixture into small meatballs, each a bit larger than a golf ball. Continue making meatballs until the mixture has all been used. Add the meatballs to the pan and cook until the meatballs are browned on all sides, about 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes sauce and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. Cover and let simmer until the meat is tender, about 45 minutes. During this time, the pan will begin to dry out. Add the beef stock bit by bit when necessary to keep the pan moist.

Bring 6 quarts water to a rolling boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.

Roll the pasta out to the thinnest setting. Cut the resulting sheet into 4 equally-sized squares, each about 4-inches square. Carefully drop the squares into the boiling water, and cook until tender but al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain and lay gently aside.

Remove the saucepan or Dutch oven from the heat. Remove the cooked meat and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using the remaining teaspoon of olive oil, lightly grease an 8-inch lasagne pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with 2 sheets of cooked lasagne noodles. Cover with half of the chopped mozzarella, then half the prosciutto, then half the meatballs with some sauce. Sprinkle with half the remaining Parmigiano. Repeat this layering process using the remaining ingredients. You will end up with Parmigiano on to. Add more if desired.

Place in the oven and cook until the lasagne is heated through and the Parmigiano is brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Basic tomato sauce:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 Spanish onion, 1/4-inch dice

4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried

1/2 medium carrot, finely grated

2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved


In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

Yield: 4 cups


Kate said...

I LOVE Across the Universe (though I definitely know those weird parts you were talking about!). The soundtrack is so good!

Suz said...

I just saw the women too and loved it; it hadn't gotten the best reviews but I thought it was so funny and really enjoyed it and love love love meg ryan.