Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oscar Dinner

My wonderful fiance is a huge film buff, so every February he usually tries to see as many Oscar nominated films and shorts as he can prior to the Academy Awards. This year, he didn't see as many as usual, but we still stuck with his tradition of watching the awards with his parents and sisters. Last year, we did a hawaiian theme dinner, but this year we went with Italian cuisine. Red wine was flowing, we had lots of hors d'oeuvres and lasagne, and we finished the night with some cannolis from our local Italian bakery, Borracchini's.

Caprese Salad
Roma Tomatoes sliced
Yellow Heirloom Tomatoes sliced
Buffalo Mozzarella sliced
Fresh Basil
Drizzle of Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Olive Tapenade
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup pimento olives
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbspn olive oil

Thow all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not blended smooth. Serve with crackers.

Lazy Girl's Lasagna
1 32 oz jar pasta sauce
1 cup red wine
3 cups ricotta
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbspn mix of dried oregano, basil, and parsley
1 large egg, beaten
1 tspn salt
1 tspn pepper
1 tspn freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 bag of frozen chopped spinach
1 lb dried precooked lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded parmesan

Preheat oven to 375. Heat spinach in a covered pan over medium heat. In a pitcher (to make pouring easy later), combine spaghetti sauce with wine. In a medium mixing bowl, combine ricotta, garlic, dried herbs, egg, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. In a 13 x 9 baking pan, pour in enough sauce to make 1/2 inch layer. Follow with a layer of slightly overlapping noodles. Next, add a layer of the ricotta mixture, a layer of spinach, a layer of sauce, and another layer of noodles, another of ricotta, and so forth, alternating until about a 1/2 inch from the top of the pan. Top off with the remaining sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is slightly browned and bubbling. Remove the lasagna from the oven and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving, to ensure nice clean slices.

(tapenade and lasagna adapted from Cheap & Easy: A Cookbook for Girls on the Go

No comments: