From now until January 2nd, you’ll be invited to many parties of the house, cocktail, and dinner variety. If you love to cook, making and bringing something won’t be a problem, but if you have the baking skills of a young Cher Horowitz, you may need to lie. By “lie” I mean “buy some food you did not make and pretend you did.” This isn’t honest, or righteous, or even very easy, but it can be done.
While lasagna (the dish) will save dinner, lasagna (the noodle) will prove equally heroic for throwing together small bites and snacks with little effort and time. So when cravings strike next, think outside the layers and try these five, noodle-filled bites.
I like to cook lasagna a day or so before I plan on eating it. The leftover noodles never go to waste as I always reserve a part of the sauce and some cheese for making lasagna noodle roll-ups after the lasagna has been constructed and put in the oven. Very messy and very, very tasty!
Here’s something I’ve always wondered: when baking pasta, as in, say, lasagna or baked ziti, why do you always cook the pasta first? Aren’t you inviting trouble by cooking it once, then proceeding to put it in a casserole and cooking it again? Well, there’s the obvious first part of the answer to this question: pasta needs to absorb water as it cooks—a lot of water, around 80 percent of its own weight when perfectly al dente. So, add raw pasta directly to a baked pasta dish, and it will soften all right—it’ll also suck up all of the moisture from the sauce, leaving it dry or broken.
I thought the pasta drew moisture from the sauce. It does… resulting in dry sauce. I’ve always wondered about those pastas marketed as not needing to be boiled first—how are they different from regular pasta or is this just some marketing ploy? Anyway, traditionally recipes recommend boiling the pasta first.
Sometimes a little change can make a big difference, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to cheese. You can completely change a dish just by substituting the cheese you usually use for something new.
I knew about the ricotta & goat cheese instead of cream cheese in cheesecake. I’m not keen to try until I figure out how to stop the cracking. Around here, there’s numerous interpretations of poutine. Bacon is a popular addition. I liked the last one I had, but it was quite salty. I can say with experience that Grilled Brie with Pears was awesome.