On my first day off from cooking in about six days, I was wondering what to do with a free day. Those taxes still needed to be done, but that didn’t sound stimulating. I finally settled on doing some cooking and eating of my own after finding the sharpest, most bad ass knife at the Asian Market for $4.99 (seriously!!). It will be a strong competitor to my $135 Shun. Taxes can wait. And after all, a killer knife is somewhat like a new outfit: it’s impossible not to use immediately.
Since cooking rustic Italian food at my new job for the last month or so, lasagna sounded pretty divine. I have no doubt that you ES-ers love some good lasagna. But if you have your own secret lasagna recipe, I would like you to add one thing to the ingredients: one 5-Hour Energy shot. No, not to put into the lasagna…to drink before commencing said lasagna making. I’m a Red Bull girl, but this 5-Hour Energy is pretty stellar. You can do jumping jacks or wrestle on the couch when it is in the oven to burn off some calories, if you’re planning on eating half of the lasagna like a champion (which I would never do).
You should also add the following to your secret family recipe for lasagna: home made pasta (I challenge you to think outside the box of lasagna noodles), good tunes (forget Sinatra, My Morning Jacket is great lasagna making music), fun stories about Friday Fuck Ups, and some box wine (Bota Box Old Vine Zin perhaps) so you can’t tell how much you’re actually drinking. Please take note that you should not cook lasagna on an empty stomach (or without an energy drink). I always like to eat an opposite-type cuisine for lunch when I’m going to cook dinner. That way your palate has been awakened and will not be dulled with the same flavors. Thai food would go nicely in this instance.
5-Hour Energy Lasagna
2 carrots, brunoise
2 stalks celery, brunoise
1/2 onion, brunoise
1/2 lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic
3 c red wine
1 lb ricotta cheese
1 bunch basil
1 bunch parsley
2 c parmesan cheese
1 ball buffalo mozzarella
1 c olive oil
salt and pepper
Pasta ingredients: equal weight egg yolks and flour + a dash of salt + a sprinkling of olive oil. You can use 12 egg yolks for this recipe. You will also need a pasta maker. A manual one costs around $30.
- Make bolognese. Sauté brunoise cut carrots and celery in a little olive oil. Add brunoise cut onion and sliced garlic cloves. Sweat onion and garlic. Add ground beef and cook. Add red wine. Season with salt and pepper.
- While your bolognese is cooking, make pasta by forming a well with the flour in a bowl, adding the egg yolks in the middle, adding salt and olive oil, and incorporating the flour slowly into the yolks with a fork. Once the flour is incorporated, take the dough out on the counter and knead for 8-10 minutes. Let dough rest for 30 min – 1 hr in the refrigerator.
- Make pesto ricotta. Blend basil and parsley in a blender with Parmesan and olive oil. Season up with salt and pepper. Combine with ricotta.
- Roll out sheets of pasta to the thinnest setting (8 or 9) starting at 1. Cut sheets to fit baking dish. The noodles will cook in the oven.
- Spread a small amount of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Layer a sheet of pasta. Spread pesto ricotta on the next layer. Spread bolognese and some grated parmesan on the next layer. Repeat until layers are complete.
- Top with sliced mozzarella di bufala similar to a Neapolitan pizza. You shouldn’t drench the lasagna in cheese. You want to be able to taste the other kick ass flavors. Sprinkle the top with olive oil.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about 45 min to an hour or whenever it smells up the entire house with a delicious aroma. Take the foil off and broil to brown the top.
- Relax with a glass of wine and this effing delicious lasagna. Share with a friend. Enjoy the company as your 5-Hour Energy wears off.