Perfect Fall Saturday or Sunday
September 26, 2008
I can think of a long list of lovely things one could do with herself on a fall weekend, such as the one that’s about to begin. Wander around your farmers’ market, which—if you live near me—is about to end for the year (sob!). Head to the nearest pumpkin patch and pick out a couple gourds for your front stoop. Have a picnic, letting rust-colored leaves shower down around you. Watch a football game or seventeen, preferably with a piping hot dish of artichoke dip in front of you and a slowly bubbling pot of chili on the stove. Get up early and take a walk for coffee, bundled in the sweater you haven’t donned since the final bitter days of last winter. Meander through an apple orchard, lazily plucking the fruits from the laden tree limbs.
And all these things are great and all, but have I got an even better weekend plan for you! It involves lasagna, which is just the kind of food—hearty and familiar and flavorful—that these early fall days demand, and this friendly piece of kitchen equipment:
That’s right! The pasta maker is back out. It takes a reverse hibernation, stashed away in the cool cupboards throughout the sweltering summer, while the rest of us are out and about and too busy and too hot to even think of eating, let alone making, homemade pasta. But, once September’s chill arrives, the pasta maker wakes from its summer slumber.
(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)
You may be thinking to yourself: lasagna? Pasta maker? Homemade pasta sheets for lasagna? Is this woman mad? The short answer is yes, of course. But! But it’s SO MUCH FUN. I saw this recipe months and months ago over at 101 Cookbooks and I immediately fell in love with the idea of rolling out my own gossamer pasta sheets, simmering my own marinara and patiently layering every single one of this lasagna’s thousand layers.
And it took the final days of my post-bar exam, pre-law firm life to finally get around to it. And I couldn’t be more pleased that I did. It was the most delicious lasagna I’ve eaten, even if it took quite a bit of patience and covered nearly every inch of my kitchen in flour and marinara. I know you can buy dried lasagna sheets and jarred marinara—not to mention fully assembled, frozen lasagna. But this, this, is a different animal entirely. It’s certainly not a weeknight sort of endeavor, but it’s more than worthy of a fall Saturday or Sunday. So, gather your patience, excavate your pasta roller, ready your cleaning supplies, and give this recipe a go this weekend.