February 14, 2012 – Valentine’s Day

erin says:  Talking to people about their plans for Valentine’s Day made me realize that many of us make plans at home to avoid the hype and bustle of one of the busiest nights of the year for local restaurants.  Wherever you ate this Valentine’s Day, I hope you got to spend time with the ones you love.

This Valentine’s Day, Brian and I made lasagna.  I don’t remember when it started or if we have missed a year, but making lasagna is our tradition on Valentine’s Day.  One year, when Valentine’s Day fell on the weekend, we went so far as to make the pasta from scratch.  That was fun, but far too much work for a Tuesday night this year.  Despite making lasagna for several years, we still don’t have what I would call the PERFECT recipe.

This year we went with the more typical oven-ready noodles approach.  We still made the sauce and filling.  No bake noodles, whole milk ricotta, and tomato puree (not crushed tomatoes) seem to contribute to a good structure (not too watery).  This year we used the hearty meat lasagna recipe from “The New Best Recipe” with some additions and modifications.  We have made that recipe before, and we find it far too boring with just beef or beef and veal.  This year, and at least once before, we put in half beef and half mild Italian sausage.  Still, when I tasted the sauce before assembly, it was boring.  This time I added some dried hot chili flakes to liven it up just a little.  I think next time we should do half mild, half hot Italian sausage.

A few years ago we made Marcella Hazan’s lasagna recipe from our borrowed copy of the “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking”.  That was the time that we made spinach pasta from scratch.  It was delicious at dinner, but we did not like it as leftovers.  I don’t recall exactly why, but it’s a lot of work to go through when we didn’t enjoy every last bite.  I’m not necessarily blaming the recipe.  I know our pasta was too thick, so we may  have made other mistakes.  I have enjoyed other recipes from that cookbook – it revolutionized my Alfredo sauce.

This year I also made chocolate covered strawberries.  I ate FAR TOO MANY of those, but they were very good.  I make them with melted chocolate chips.  They’re best to eat on the day that I make them, so I don’t worry about tempering or anything fancy.

2 Responses to “February 14, 2012 – Valentine’s Day”

  1. nichole Says:

    That sounds like a great Valentine’s Day! We saw the Muppets at the budget theater and had hot dogs for dinner. Best kind of date.

  2. erin Says:

    That sounds like a great date!

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