Last weekend’s weather was gorgeous, full of the promise of spring (which, we all know, and more recent weather proves, is total BS. It should more accurately be called “the taunting of spring” or something). Anyway, it was so irresistibly gorgeous that a couple of friends and I decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
I’d only walked across the bridge once before, and that time was from Manhattan to Brooklyn.
I’d like to walk it at night once, to see all the lights strung up, but honestly I probably won’t get around to it. I can just take the Q train back and forth a couple times and look at it from there.
Ah, beautiful abundant sunshine. It was even warm enough for ice cream (though I am of the “never too cold for ice cream” school of thought). We went to the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, which I highly recommend.
This weekend, however, was a different story. Rain and wind galore! I did venture out in the morning for brunch with a cousin, a haircut (“Do you want me to blow-dry it?” [glance out the window] “No, thanks…”), and a trip to the co-op for provisions. I had grand plans to get my taxes done as well, but because, as most readers are aware, internet access in my apartment is sketchy at best, that would have required leaving the house, and I’d already made that mistake once.
Tangent alert: I got a new umbrella before the Ireland trip. (Tangent-within-a-tangent – and yes I’m sure there is a mathematical term for that, perhaps a tessellation? – pictures of actual Irish scenery, as opposed to just road signs and food, are coming soon.) This new umbrella is supposed to be “wind-proof” or “wind-resistant” or some such. Apparently, what this means is, it blows inside-out just like every other umbrella I’ve ever had, but it doesn’t break when it does so. So I guess that’s sort of cool.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming…right, horrible weather, staying inside. What to do? Make lasagna and bake chocolate chip cookies, naturally.
1 28-oz. can Muir Glen diced fire-roasted tomatoes
5 Tbsp butter
1 medium yellow onion, halved
Simmer all three ingredients in a pot until the sauce reduces (begins to thicken). I did about 45 minutes but longer would have been fine, I just got impatient (raise your hand if you’re surprised). Remove the onion (it will be all mushy). Thanks to Molly for this recipe, and Susan for the tomato brand recommendation! Note: I’m not a homemade sauce snob; in fact this is the first time I’ve made sauce from scratch. I just haven’t found a jarred sauce I like and was getting sick of mediocre-tasting sauces. This recipe is super easy and also delicious (I mean, it has butter in it…).
2-3 cups homemade tomato sauce*
1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
1 15-oz container ricotta cheese
1 block of tofu (I used firm, soft would be fine too, probably even better)
2 packages frozen leaf spinach (again, fresh would be fine, probably better)
1 package frozen artichoke hearts
fresh mozzarella cheese
*I was a little short on sauce and had to be sparing with it. Next time I make this, I’ll probably add a 15-oz. can of tomatoes to the 28-oz can.
While the sauce is simmering, defrost the spinach and artichoke hearts. I put a little olive oil in a skillet and let the spinach start softening, and defrosted the artichoke hearts in the microwave so I could chop them smaller before adding them to the pan. When the greens are done, drain them and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta and tofu well.
Grease a 9×13 casserole dish (I used olive oil). Cover the bottom of the pan with about a cup of tomato sauce, then layer four noodles over the top. Cover with half the ricotta-tofu mixture, then layer all the greens over that, then spread on the remaining ricotta-tofu mixture. Cover lightly with sauce, then add another four noodles over the surface and pour the rest of the sauce over top. Layer some sliced fresh mozzarella over top. Because I was short on sauce, I poured just a little bit of water around the edges of the dish.
Cover pan with foil and bake at 375 F for 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes, till cheese on top is brown and bubbly. Let cool about 10 minutes, then cut and enjoy!
What I’m reading: The Children’s Book, A.S. Byatt
What I’m listening to: Road to Ruin, the Ramones; And Out Come The Wolves, Rancid