Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 111: Quick and easy loca-zagna

Loca-zagna: It's an all-local (ok, mostly local) and seasonal QUICK lasagna dinner.

This lasagna has farmer's market ingredients purchased at the Elon Community Church farmer's market (every Thursday 3:00-6:30pm) and from one farm directly (Asgard).

Local lasagna

I bought greens from Redbud Farm, eggs from Asgard farm, ricotta and mozzarella from Calico Farmstead Cheese, and goat meat from, well, I can't remember because Tony bought this and paid cash so I have no receipt. It might have been T5 and it was 2 booths down from Redbud. Anyway, it was from the farmer's market. You can buy this all in one place, combine with some pantry staples, and end up with dinner in less than an hour.

Market ingredients:
4 cups wilted chopped greens, drained well and squeezed
1 lb ricotta cheese
1 egg
3 cloves garlic, minced (divided)*
1 handful parsley leaves, chopped fine
1 lb goat meat
1 small handful fresh chopped oregano
1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded with a hand-grater

Pantry ingredients:
8-10 whole wheat lasagna noodles, or as many as you need to make 2 layers in a 9x12 pan
1 jar spaghetti sauce (no, it's not tomato season quite yet)


Method:
1. Boil water and cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions.

2. While the noodles are cooking, chop and steam your greens, or wilt them in a saute pan until they are tender. Squeeze out all the moisture. You want them as dry as possible.

3. In a medium bowl, mix half the garlic, chopped parsley, 1 egg, the ricotta, and the greens. This will be a fairly dry and crumbly mixture.

4. In a large skillet, brown the goat meat. Near the end of cooking, mix in the rest of the minced garlic and the chopped oregano leaves. Remove meat from heat once it is done.

5. Drain the noodles once they are done cooking.

6. Once the noodles are done, the meat is done, and the ricotta mixture is mixed, you are ready to assemble the lasagna. Open the jar of sauce and spread just enough to barely cover the bottom of the lasagna pan. (This is a very thin layer, maybe 1/2 cup at the most, just to keep the noodles from sticking.) Place your first layer of noodles in the pan. Cover with one half of the ricotta mixture, then half the goat meat mixture, then half the remaining sauce.

7. Repeat the layers: noodles, ricotta, meat, sauce. Top with shredded mozzarella.

8. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy.

Don't forget to re-use your sauce jar for coffee.

*Note about garlic. Many of you might be saying, how'd she buy garlic at the farmer's market?? Well, Redbud farm had these things that looked like leeks or vidalia spring onions, but they were garlic. I minced them up and used them in cooking. One thing to note, they dry out quickly; they're not quite as moist as an onion. So if you cut it to use half, use the other half quickly or it will get too dried out to use.

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