Monday, October 18, 2010

Arugula lasagna

Last week the recipe that came with my CSA bag was for arugula lasagna.  It sounded amazing so I finally decided to try it tonight.  It was a lot of work but soooo worth it!  I think cheese is my favorite food, so this is definitely one of my favorite meals.  The recipe can be found here -

I started by cooking the lasagna.  While it was boiling I rinsed and chopped all of the arugula that I still had from last week's CSA bag.  This actually took a little while to cut the arugula leaves into long strips!  I saved about 8 of the best looking leaves for the top of the lasagna.  At the same time I also put a single layer of pine nuts on the tray in my toaster oven to toast them.  I don't know if you can buy pine nuts that were already toasted but I bought fresh ones so I toasted them myself.  I also sliced 2 shallots and grated the Pecorino cheese.  Then I sauteed the sliced shallots while mixing together the cheese sauce.  I did not read the directions very well and dumped all of the Pecorino into the cheese sauce - oops!  I was supposed to save 2/3 of it for the top.  The cheese sauce contained gorgonzola, ricotta, Pecorino cheeses, plus heavy cream, salt, pepper and cinnamon.  The recipe called for nutmeg, but I forgot to buy that so I used a little bit of cinnamon as a substitute.  Once the shallots were sauteed I put them aside and sauteed the arugula and garlic for just a few minutes.

The arugula was mixed into the cheese sauce, and then the lasagna creation began.  First I added a little milk to the casserole dish, then the first 3 cooked lasagna noodles, then about 1/4 of the cheesy arugula mixture.

See the strips of arugula in there?  I made 3 more layers like this, then added the sauteed shallots, pine nuts and the whole arugula leaves I had saved.  I was supposed to put the rest of the Pecorino on top, but since I had accidentally put it in the cheese mixture, I found some grated asiago cheese in the fridge (from Friday night's meal) and added a bunch of that on top.

This went into the oven with foil on top for 25 minutes, while I cleaned the giant mess in the kitchen.  I managed to use a lot of pans and dishes to prepare this!  But cleaning kept me busy while I was salivating over the yummy cheesy smells coming out of my oven.  After 25 minutes I removed the foil to let the top brown.  This took about 15 minutes, then I removed the beauty from the oven.

Somehow I managed to let it sit for 10 minutes per the recipe instructions before cutting it.  Then I ate about half of it -- ok maybe not that much, but certainly more than I should have!  It was super delicious!  Maybe not the healthiest meal from a low fat perspective, but all of the ingredients were fresh, organic and simple, so I do believe it is healthier than a frozen lasagna.  Plus I burned a lot more calories cooking and cleaning in the kitchen for 2 hours than  I would have just throwing a frozen lasagna in the oven.  And the taste is simply not comparable.  I might need to have some for breakfast tomorrow.

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