Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Pasta for a grey April day, when it really should be spring

My friend Ed, who is a brilliant cook, and a vegetarian, came for lunch today - two reasons to be nervous: I can't out-cook him, and I panic when I can't put bacon in food, fearing that it'll taste bland*.  Still, I trust Nigel Slater wholeheartedly, and decided to make his mushroom and pesto lasagne, - partly because today's weather is exactly the sort of weather for such a mellow, comforting dish - and partly because I had some bechamel in the freezer that was annoying me. (If something is there, I have to do it / eat it / buy it / break it - I'm not very good at ignoring things.)

So: lasagne.  Labour of love / ball-ache but worth it.  The sheets always remind me of the sheets
of a book:
Maybe my next book should be printed on lasagne, and then you could eat it, as and when...

Anyway, the recipe is pretty easy.  It's mostly about the mushrooms:
and the cream and cheese:
lifted with a burst of fresh, super green parsley:
Nigel says make your own pesto.  I say buy your own pesto:
I have a hard enough time trying to get the pasta sheets to fit neatly on top of the sauce.

Nonethless, it all worked out fine in the end - in spite of a rather large fissure:
And the best thing about it all?  The best thing?  No, not the beautiful golden bubbling cheesy topping:
And not even the beautiful silky layers of pasta, enveloping a creamy, cheesy sauce:
No.  The best thing is that when you cook for someone who's a better cook than you, they bring dessert...
Epic cookies:
Seriously epic cookies:

Ginger, chocolate, crunchy, chewy, slightly fiery, totally moreish.  Yes, that was the best bit about the lasagne.

(* I hate to say it but I do think the lasagne would have been perfect if I'd put bacon in with the cream, mushrooms, cheese and parmesan.)


  1. Just discovered your blog. I'm a huge pasta fan too. I've just written a blogpost about spaghetti. Hope you enjoy it: http://ambradambra.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/pasta-shapes-my-memories/

  2. Hi Stella,
    Found your book Leftovers in my top 10 quick pick-ups at my local library.
    Loved it! Funny, witty, honest.
    I'm the same age as the main character and the grumpy one is my namesake :)
    Look forward to reading Pearshaped.
    Hope to see you blogging more if you can.

    MsMadge x

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