I read a recipe and I think how can I make this different. How can I change it to my tastes and my personality. How can I make it better. And sometimes I can't.
I can't change pasta dough or pizza dough recipes. I can try and improve the Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie dough recipe, but really there is no need for improvement.
But reading Martha Stewart's Tomato-Sausage Lasagna, I found it lacked something. What that something was wine.
Vino improves everything. Or at least I think so. So I added a splash. O.K. more than a splash. More like a glass. Oh and the taste of it in the sausage tomato sauce, I almost died. The little spice and earthiness of the wine just made the sauce sooooo much better. Then you add the cheese and the lasagna noodles. I'd quote my boyfriend, but it is a phrase that one must not often repeat. But as usual he went back for seconds, this time larger than usual.
The little left from the 8x8 dish went into two tupperware containers not before the comment, "Can't you fit them in one." With a glare I went back to what I was doing. I'm sure it has been devoured and will be in frequent rotation.
(adapted from Everyday Food)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/4 dry red wine
1 cans (28 ounces) diced tomatoes in puree
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 cups shredded shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Make sauce: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, and red-pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add sausage, and cook, stirring and breaking it up, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add wine then Add tomatoes and their puree, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon; bring to a boil. Reduce to a rapid simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon 1 cup sauce in bottom of dish. Fit 2 noodles in dish (crosswise if using short noodles, lengthwise if using long), overlapping slightly. Cover with 1/2 cups sauce, 1 cups mozzarella, and Parmesan. Repeat with another 2 layers, then top with remaining noodles, sauce, and the rest of mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil, and bake 1 hour.
Remove foil, and continue baking until bubbly and browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool 20 minutes. Cut and serve.
Note: The lasagna can be assembled up to one day in advance. Cover with foil, and refrigerate. You may have to increase initial baking time by 5 to 10 minutes.