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giel's Journal: Recipes

Journal by giel

As I promised sometime ago... Here are a few pasta recipes. The first one is fairly easy, the second one is a little harder, but if you trust your skills, really worth trying. Both for two persons. I guess. Beware, I (re)invented them myself.

p a s t a . a g l i o l i

Preparation time: 10-20 minutes.
Skills needed: rookie

  • Oil, olive or sunflower - preferable both
  • Spaghetti or tagliatelli - 200 to 300 gr (whatever taste or kind you like)
  • Garlic - 3 or 4 toes
  • Red Hot Chilli Pepper - one will do
  • Basilicum, dried - about a half spoon
  • Salt
  • Parmezan cheese, grated - optional

Important after you've finished the cutting part, be carefull not to stick your fingers in your nose or to touch other sensitive body parts. It hurts.

Peel the garlic and cut it into rough pieces. The easiest way to peel garlic is the cut af the ends and then hit it with the side of a big knife; this will cause the skin to burst and to come loose from the body. Cut the pepper lengthwise and then into pieces (you might remove the seeds if you don't like it hot).
Put the garlic and the pepper in a big cup and drop a little bit of salt on it to enrich the flavour. Add the basilicum and mash the contents of the cup a little. Add oil, to some this may seem a lot, but I want the cup atleast half full. I prefer to use 1/3 olive and 2/3 sunflower to temper the taste of the olive oil a little. You might want to stir or mash it some more to get all flavours in the oil.
Tip: prepare the oil yesterday, it's flavour will be richer.

Cook the pasta. Lots of water, a little oil and a little salt. To see if the pasta is ready - in the genuine Italian way - throw a little of it against the wall and see if it sticks there for a few seconds. I don't throw the pasta against the wall, but that's because I have a better, secret way to find out if it ready. I taste it to see if it's 'al dente'. Oops. Well don't tell any further. If your pasta is ready, remove the water. It's a hell of a job - I know - but they have very usefull devices to assist you, however I don't know how they are called in English (in Dutch it called a 'vergiet').

Pour the oil onto the pasta. Ready. You might want to add a little bit of grated Parmezan Cheese. Oh and you might want to serve some salad or vegetables too, just to get a more balanced and healthy dish (I don't really care if my food is healthy).

l a s a g n a . c a p r e s e

Preparation time: 1 hour or so
Skills needed: veteran

Oil, sunflower and olive

Lasagna sheets

Spinach, frozen - 400/500 gr

Garlic - 3 or 4 toes

Tomatoes - 2 or 3

Mozerella - 125 gr

Basilicum, preferable fresh

Mushrooms - 200 gr

Pinue nuts

Black pepper

Salt

Butter

Milk

Flour

Parmezan or other grated cheese

Note if your spinach comes at temperature early do not let it cool down. I was told this is extremely unhealthy, seriously. I forgot why. But you should know why anyway, you're a veteran when it comes down to cooking.

This lasagne consists of three different types of filling, spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms. You can prepare these at the same time.

Cook, heat or nuke the spinach, instructions can be found on the product itself and mix fine chopped or squished garlic through it. Add some salt as you like it.

While the spinach is defreezing proceed with the tomato stuff. Cut the tomatoes and the mozerella into fine slices. Add basilicum to it. If you have fresh basilicum, tear the leaves into little parts by hand. Add a good drizzle of sunflower oil to it. (basically we now have a simple Caprese salad, and we are going to put it into te lasagne).

When finished with the tomatoes fry the mushrooms and the pinue nuts with some black pepper using a little butter and some olive oil.

Buidling time! Grab a dish that's large enough or has a convient lasagne shape (depends on the size and form of the sheets you've choosen). Use butter or oil to get the dish fat so the lasagne won't burn to it. Now make layers. I'd say start and finish with a layer of spinach, the middle layers, use your own creativity. One type of filling per layer. And don't forget to put the lasagne sheets in between, or else it won;t become lasagne. At the end pour over some extra oil.

Now it's time to finish the lasagne by creating a Bechamelsauce. Melt a little butter in a frying pan. Stir flour into it until it looks 'dry'. While stirring add milk to it, a little at a time. This should become a thick white sauce. Add a little salt. Take care too much milk and your souce will become to thin and you can start over again.

Pour the sauce over the lasagne. You might want to Put some grated cheese or black pepper on top too. Time to put it into the oven, must be reasonable hot, for about 25 - 45 minutes?

Enjoy!

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