Saturday, October 2, 2010

"The Fennnel Is Beyond Every Other Vegetable"

After a wonderful work shift at Party City, i went back to my dads crashed on the futon and turned on the tube to The Food Network, The Next Iron Chef re-runs were on. As my father and I watched something caught my interest, ratatouille that had fennel in it. Just then my Papa mentioned something about cooking lasagna for my sister. It hit me like a broadside of a barn. Lasagna with fennel. I told my dad we had to go to the store, i wanted to cook this so badly.

There is something about fennel that i enjoy quite a lot. It's most likely because of its licorice smell and flavor, It entices and invites my palate into a delicious wonderland. Fennel is also extremely versatile and can be crafted into deserts such as fennel ice cream, or added to savory dishes as I did this evening.

Dum dum duh dum
Supreme Lasagna:
-1 lb. lasagna noodles, not oven ready
-1 tbs. olive oil
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 medium fennel bulb, around 2 cups thinly sliced.
-1 large red onion, julienned
-58 oz. tomato sauce
-1 tbs. dried crushed basil
-1 tbs ground crushed oregano
-1 lb. ground beef
-1 lb. ground pork
-1 lb. ground hot pork Italian sausage
-2 tsp. honey, preferable of the golden variety
-2 tsp paprika
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. pepper
-15 oz. ricotta cheese
-1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
-1 c. shredded Parmesan
-8 oz. fresh mozzarella

Preheat hot box to 350 F

Fill a large tall pot with lots of water, around 5 or 6 quarts, salt and add in 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil.Bring to a boil. Add in pasta and cook until aldente, around 8 to 10 mins.Drain. Set aside.

In a dutch oven heat the oil. Toss in the garlic, fennel, and onion, sweat for 5 mins. Pour in the tomato sauce, basil, and oregano; bring to a simmer. Reduce for 30 to 40 mins.

Meanwhile begin to brown the ground meats. While it is still slighlty pink, season with the honey, paprika, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Cook until no more pink is visible. Drain and add to the sauce.

Now the layering proccess begins. the proper order is:
1. sauce
2. noodles
3. cheese

repeat. repeat. repeat until your at the top of your pan.

The only specifics are use the fresh mozzerella on the top layer only and cover the top with sauce as well.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 40 mins. Remove foil and continue to bake until the cheese is bubbly, 5 to 10 mins.

Take out, cut a slice. Serve with bread and butter. DEVOUR.

[Thomas Jefferson Quote For Title]

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