Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lasagna with Mushrooms and Ham

We were talking about cooking in my office the other day. My boss, Josh, was saying there is no need for cookbooks anymore. And my other co-worker, Sue, sort of agreed. I told them it's true you can download and print just about any recipe anymore, but I still like a good old-fashioned cookbook. I love the stories in cookbooks, how personal they are to the author and I really appreciate photos of the recipes.

They then proceeded to tell me their favorite, "must-have" cookbooks and all their favorite recipes. The first book was Julia and Jacque Cooking at Home and the second book was Essentials of Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan. Why don't I have these books? Where have I been? Of course I wrote down the names of both books and made a mental note to purchase them as soon as possible. I actually love cookbooks and have quite a collection. So I was kind of shocked that I didn't have these.

Josh, who happens to be my boss, has worked with me for three years now, and knows me much better than I thought. He actually made a stop that afternoon on our way to a client meeting and purchased the Marcella Hazan book for me - and had it gift wrapped. He said he knew I would be ordering it immediately and thought he would beat me to it, that it is his very favorite cookbook. Wow. This is exactly the type of thing I like to do for people. And he did it for me. So on Sunday I made two of his favorite recipes.

1) Lasagne with Mushrooms and Ham
2) Bolognese Meat Sauce

We ate the lasagna Sunday night. It was fantastic. Full of flavor and creamy goodness. We paired it with the Testerossa Pinot Noir Palazzio '07 - that we didn't drink on Thanksgiving. They tasted fantastic together. Wine and Spirits gave this wine 91 pts.

We'll have the bolognese later in the week. Or maybe next week. I might just put it in the freezer for another time. We have a whole pan of lasagna to eat this week.

These recipes require a whole afternoon to cook. They're not hard. They just take time to simmer and simmer and simmer and simmer.................

The mushrooms simmer in a pan for eternity, until all the liquid has evaporated.

Finally, it's time to assemble the lasagna. I didn't make the pasta. I would if I could.
But I don't have a pasta maker, so I didn't. But you should if you have one.

Ready to go in the oven.
(Don't ask about the blue pan. I have no idea where it came from, or where my clear pan is.)

Hot out of the oven. Cheesy goodness.

One of the messy end pieces.

Thanks for the cookbook, Josh. I love it!

And if anyone wants these recipes you'll have to buy the book. J/k. If you really want them I'll scan them and send them to you. Just leave me a message/comment and I'll get right on it.


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