Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Giada's Homeruns

My friend, Angie, has been staying with us for a few days and I've had a good time experimenting with new recipes for her. The reason most of these recipes are new to me is that Angie is a vegetarian. Don't get me wrong, I'm not totally meat obsessed or anything, but most of our dinner menus have meat somewhere in the picture. Easier to fill up that way or something. Somehow the meals I cooked for Angie both ended up being Giada de Laurentiis recipes (I guess Italian dishes translate to vegetarian well) and they are both amazing. I strongly suggest you to try them soon, even if you don't have a vegetarian resident in your house.

The first meal was not exactly new to me in terms of eating it (does that make sense?) because Natalie made it for me and John months ago. John and I loved it so much that he has been harassing me to make it ever since. Thanks a lot, Natalie.

Butternut squash lasagna is something I had never heard of...and now it is something I will never forget. There is no tomato sauce in this recipe, instead you make a creamy white sauce with butter, flour, and lots of whole milk. It makes for a decadent lasagna that is unforgettable. Per Natalie's instructions, I didn't blend the basil into the white sauce, but instead layered it on top of the white sauce. I also don't have a blender (how is this possible??), so it was kind of a necessity. Here is the recipe for you to make, enjoy, and never look back.

The second meal I made tonight has a name, "baked penne with roasted vegetables," that is a bit of a mouthful. Which is okay, because your mouth with soon be full of this delicious dish (wow that was lame). I didn't add the mushrooms because I never do and I essentially halved the recipe. I made sure to buy good marinara sauce (Newman's Own) for fear or ruining the dish, though I'm not sure if it would have mattered. The roasted veggies retain the flavor from the roasting, yet take on a softer texture that is similar to the pasta when it is baked in the oven alongside the rest of the dish. These is a bit of cheese in the dish, but it isn't overpowering and adds a nice richness to an otherwise bounty of health. The top gets nice and crispy and the tiny burnt pieces of pasta are the best. Next time I am craving mac & cheese, I think I will make this dish instead because the flavors are much more complex and satisfying. Trust me on this recipe; it is delicious.

PS: Notice anything different? I got a new camera! Well, I inherited an amazing camera from my Dad, who took pity on me when he found out I ruined our old camera in an unfortunately drowning-of-electronics incident. I'm still getting the hang of it, and I need to connect the flash, but I think you can already see how great the camera is.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for all the veggie friendly meals! and those pics definitely look great!

    btw i'm on the plane and there is no one sitting next to me! but of course the 2 people on the plane with their reading lights on are right behind me and i cannot sleep!


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