*A dispatch from our correspondent Emily*
My good friend spends quite a few of his late evenings wandering the Brooklyn streets and dragging home whatever trash looks good. This has led to some uncomfortable morning realizations, I bet! Happily, one day he found this treasure.
Unfortunately, the mixing attachments and bowls were too expensive for a librarian. But the meat grinding accoutrements were only $30. Homemade sausage party time!
Do not even try to buy hog intestines in Greenpoint on a Sunday. You will be disappointed. But based on the success of the Groundhog Day Lasagna, I brought my pasta machine over to his house and we made sausage without the casing and put it in a droolingly good lasagna.
for the sausage:
2.5 pounds pork shoulder, a nice fatty piece
a package of chicken thighs (boned, if you can get them)
a can of chipotle peppers
Cut up the meats into small pieces. Cut off the fat and put it in the freezer. That way it won’t bind in the machine when you’re ready to grind it all up together. While you are waiting for it to freeze you can start making
simple tomato sauce:
can of whole peeled plum tomatoes cut up
1/2 an onion chopped fine
3 cloves of garlic chopped fine
some basil chopped up
Put it in a pot over very low heat. Don’t cover your tomato sauce or it will blanch all the flavor out.
We were lazy and bought ricotta cheese instead of making it like Kate. Problem was, only light pasteurized buttermilk was available at the store. I didn’t think it would work and didn’t feel confident about the lemon juice method.
Ok, is that fat frozenish? Time to grind all the meats together! Then, put the ground meat in a frying pan with a few peppers and cilantro and salt and black pepper and cook it over medium heat.
While the sausage was going on I was making spinach lasagna noodles.
1 ten ounce package frozen spinach
3 cups flour
First you have to cook the frozen spinach for a little while with some salt. Then you smoosh all the liquid out. Make a volcano out of the flour and mix the eggs up in the volcano crater, gradually dragging more flour from the sides up and over the top. Then mix in the spinach. Knead it for eight minutes. Mine was really sticky and I needed to keep adding more flour to make it workable.
Now divide the dough into 8 pieces. Run them through your pasta machine progressively until they get as thin as you can make them. You will cut them down further as you go. I only got down to notch number four because the spinach makes it more bulky. Also Nate and Molly showed up and Nate makes me nervous because he’s so bossy in the kitchen. I made him go into the other room. Molly stayed and helped me trim the noodles.
The noodles take only a few seconds to cook in boiling water. Scoop them out and run them under cold water to stop them being overcooked. Did you know that all pasta used to be called macaroni?
Mix the sauce and sausage and ricotta cheese all together.
Layer the noodles and the filling in your baking dish. Top with grated Parmesan. Bake for an hour. Let it rest so you don’t burn your mouth.
Sunday dinner with your Brooklyn surrogate family is served. Caper got to chew the wine cork under the table.