06 January 2009

Greek-spiced Lasagna

What? That doesn't look like lasagna to you?

So I took it out of the pan too early, and it hadn't set enough, and it really just made a big, sloppy mess on the plate. But it tasted quite lovely. This was a sort of... ethnically confused, mishmash of a dish. A bit Greek, a bit Italian, a bit... stuff I had in the fridge.

When I was in junior high (grade 8, I think) I had to take a Home Economics class, where we mostly did a bit of cooking, once a week. One of the things we cooked was something called Pastitsio, which seemed to be a kind of lasagna with a white sauce. I don't remember too much about it, except that it had cinnamon and nutmeg in the meat sauce, which I can't remember being very saucy, but must have had something to keep it from drying out.

In any case, I had a sudden craving for lasagna today when I was leaving work, which was a bit funny since I felt quite sick all day and actually hadn't eaten anything since breakfast. But I went around the store anyway for mozzarella and ground beef and tomato sauce and cottage cheese. (I know, most people prefer ricotta, but I grew up on lasagna with cottage cheese, so that's what I'm used to and what I like. I'm not sure ricotta could be bought in my hometown when I was a kid.) I had intentions of doing a very standard lasagna, with nothing special about it, but suddenly remembered pastitsio and wanted that flavour. Or anyway, the part of that flavour that I could remember.

So instead of using an Italian herb mix to flavour the meat/tomato sauce, I used cinnamon and nutmeg and a bit of mint (though I didn't have enough mint to make it a noticeable taste). And it was a flavour explosion on my tongue.

Or something, anyway, I also had mushrooms in the fridge, so I sautéed a couple of those and made a layer of them as well. That was a pretty forgettable part of the lasagna, but over all, delicious. Tomorrow if I eat some of the leftovers, I'll try to take a proper picture.

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