Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lasagne Day

My mom and I used to make lasagne for our family once every few months. It was a kind of ritual for us - from fighting to keep most of the noodles intact from box to pot to strainer to pan, to mom's occasional half-hearted swats at me as I'd sneak pieces of pasta out of the colander or shreds of cheese out from under the grater, to finally the breathless awe of the family when my mom finally pulled out the Pyrex dish from the oven and cut that first, cheesy piece. Even though I was a part of the process of making the dish, for the longest time, I never truly understood what lasagne was, in essence. Because it's more than just a melange of pasta, sauce and cheese that makes the meal... it's the melange of love, learning, teaching, laughter and patience too. A lasagne put together by a cook or a family that loves the end recipient always has that "little bit more" to it than even the fanciest truffle and foie gras stuffed concoction - it sounds corny but the feelings of the cook season the dish more than salt ever will.

So today, being National Lasagne Day, I'm sharing with you a recipe by one of the most dedicated family men I have the privilege of knowing: Darryl Koster of Buster Rhino's BBQ. His recipe is unique in it's short list of ingredients (including his secret Southern brisket!), yet it's unusual components perfectly mesh into a delicious, rich, cheesy whole. If you're fortunate enough to live near an area that carries his sauce (or even better, his establishment's meat!) you definitely should check it out!

Do you have a favourite family recipe you enjoy cooking with each other, or for each other?

Buster's BBQ Lasagne
Serves 10
1 tbsp olive oil
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
6 oz cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
1lb cooked, Southern BBQ Beef Brisket, chopped
6 cups spaghetti sauce (Darryl uses homemade, for NI purposes I used Prego traditional)
12 oz fresh Mozzarella, shredded
1 cup grated Romano cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb lasagne noodles, cooked just shy of al dente and drained
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Heat oil in a medium sized pan.
  3. Add onion and cook, stirring, until translucent.
  4. Add mushrooms and pepper, continue cooking until the onions are caramelized.
  5. Stir in red wine to deglaze the pan and set aside.
  6. Coat the bottom of a 9 x 13" dish with sauce.
  7. Layer noodles, sauce, vegetables, brisket, mozzarella cheese and Romano cheese until everything has been used.
  8. The top of the lasagne should be 1 layer of noodles, a thin layer of sauce, and all the Parmesan cheese.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes or until a nice brown crust has formed on the top, rotating the pan 1/2 way through the baking time.
  10. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 673.9
Total Fat: 27.7 g
Cholesterol: 97.6 mg
Sodium: 1,627.0 mg
Total Carbs: 62.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.1 g
Protein: 39.0 g