Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lasagna Tryouts- Take 1
(Recipe for Sautéed Asparagus)


Last night, my lasagna didn't materialize as planned. Don't get me wrong, the flavors were impressive as a whole, complimenting each other very well, also working well as solo acts. The asparagus sautéed in bacon grease, garlic and onions was beyond amazing. The bechamel sauce, one of the most simplest and inexpensive sauces to make, turned out quite lovely. The substitution of lasagna noodles with polenta was a great choice, but the addition of my homemade gravy was inadequate. The sauce wasn't thick enough, causing the lasagna to become a pool of ingredients on our plates.

Even with the malformation of my dinner, my stagehands seemed to enjoy the flavors, dipping their bread into the mixture, leaving no remnants of polenta, sauce or vegetables behind, all seemingly enjoying their meals. Maybe they were just acting nice?

Next time, I will add a thicker layer to the lasagna, possibly a ricotta cheese mixture or maybe even a hearty meat sauce. So for now, I will unmask the recipe for the sautéed asparagus, which can be used to compliment my Cod Packets: http://italianfoodgitive.blogspot.com/2010/02/protein-envy-cod-vegetable-foil-packets.html or my Veal Marsala: http://italianfoodgitive.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-years-eve-menu-veal-marsala.html

End scene.

Sautéed Asparagus

Serving Size: 6
What You'll Need:

*4 slices of bacon
*2 bushels of asparagus
*1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
*1 medium onion
*2 cloves garlic
*3 anchovies in oil
*Pinch of salt

Instructions:
*Set oven to 350 degrees
*Rinse asparagus spears under cold running water to clean in colander
*Remove ends of asparagus **
*Heat large sauté pan over medium-high heat for 1 minute
*Add bacon and cook for 3 minutes on each side
*Remove bacon with slotted spoon, leaving grease in pan
*Add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to pan
*Dice onion
*Finely chop garlic
*Finely chop anchovies
*Add onion, garlic and anchovies to pan
*Cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally
*Add asparagus and salt to pan, mixing ingredients together and sauté for 10 minutes
*Pour mixture into ungreased cookie sheet and cook for 10 minutes


** Tip: When purchasing asparagus, remember, the thinner the better. I find the best asparagus at farmer's markets or at The Produce Junction. Grab ends of asparagus with both hands and firmly bend it until it snaps. Do not eat the ends of the asparagus. You can, however, use the asparagus ends for vegetable stock.

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