Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jen's Dave's Lasagna

That's what my cousin/godson used to call my lasagna. Until I told him that if he kept calling it that, he couldn't have any.

My brother and I invented the recipe for Overkill Lasagna one evening when my mom was about to start making one. We kicked her out of the kitchen and got to work. Not that her lasagnas were bad, but they left enough room for improvement that we had no choice but to stage a coup. Hence the alternate name, Anarchist Lasagna.

The recipe?

Make lasagna the way you usually do, but use more sauce and cheese than seem entirely necessary. And then add more sauce.

Our meatless version has mozzarella and ricotta. The meaty version has ground beef and sausage (removed from the casing and cooked the same way as the ground beef). I've been known to have trouble lifting the meatarific version because it's so damn heavy. And delicious.

Somehow my brother got most of the credit for the recipe. In all fairness, he was the instigator of the massive sauciness. Our lasagna is so legendary, that he even mentioned it in his Gentleman of Honor toast at the wedding. He added at the sauce, but I was the one encouraging him. And handing him more cans of sauce.

Many years ago, we started a tradition where the churchgoers would go to 5 PM mass on Christmas Eve while us heathens (me and the bro) made lasagna. Then some of the extended family would come over to eat said lasagnas before heading home for last minute gift wrapping.

(There had been much drama over the bro and I ceasing to attend weekly mass. But I knew that my mom had made peace with it when I offered to attend Christmas Eve mass and she said that she really needed us to stay home and cook.)

This year will be the first where HA and I are spending Christmas together. (He always headed out to the midwest to see the folks--I would get him the rest of the year, so no biggie.) So he's never had my lasagna. The things take way too much effort and contain way too many calories to make for just 2 people.

We used a pound and a half of mozzarella and most of that container of ricotta. It woulda been the whole container, but some of it had already been used for something else.

Being married means that you can make someone else grate the cheese.

(I've been making this solo since my brother moved away from NY. When he does come home for the holidays, we make it together (like last year), but usually it's just me. And since I moved away from my old neighborhood, I've been making it at my mother's house, since having to drive an hour would negate the quick dinner after church thing. My parents remodeled their kitchen a few years ago, so I usually have to do a lot of cursing because I don't know where they keep anything anymore.)

This year, we decided to try something new. Instead of making 2 lasagnas (one meat, one cheese), I made a cheese lasagna, and served meat sauce and sausages on the side. I liked doing it this way because we only had 3 pieces leftover instead of 2 half lasagnas, so I may take this approach again, even though it seemed like blasphemy when it was first suggested.

Seriously, though. Didn't you just gain 3 pounds looking at that plate?

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