Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lasagna Mama Mia [Mike]

Growing up, I remember helping my Mom make gravy almost every single Sunday. Italians call their red sauce gravy. Why? Who knows… all I know is it’s a basic staple in Italy.

The fragrant smell from Mom’s kitchen, meatballs and sausage frying and fresh basil. Mom kept a wooden spoon next to the stove because when she wasn’t looking, we’d all try to grab a frying meatball from the pan.

Ouch! She always got me with the wooden spoon.

Sometimes Mom would substitute beef ribs for the sausage. Gosh they were meat-fall-off-the-bones good.  Or, she would take fried chicken pieces and add them to the gravy.  Best of all was when she took a large handful of chopped meat and a hard-boiled egg. She would roll the seasoned meat around the egg, making a giant meatball. Then she’d pan fry it in olive oil, and add it to her gravy.

Later, after we had our pasta, the meat platter would come out. Along with the sausage and meatballs was the sliced giant meatball with the egg. In our family, four boys, you had to be quick. Everyone wanted one of the slices with the egg yolk.

Cut to:

The Kaiser Lake house.

July 4th weekend.

Tradition. The Koulermos family is there.

Who knows how many people will show up at this wonderful small cottage on the lake this time. Minimum 10, max 30 or more? I decided I would cook dinner for the masses. I’m in the business of creating new product ideas, so I made a couple of designer lasagnas.

I made my Mom’s lasagna. (Follow steps 1 to 9 from “1st Place Lasagna”) Then I added the meatloaf as a topping, and fresh basil for both flavor and color.

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