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Thursday, October 10, 2013


Mrs. C is half Italian and half Irish.  I often tease her that the Italian half never steps into the kitchen.  It is not that she cannot cook; she does not love to cook.  For the last six months I have been goading her about her lack of culinary passion and have pestered her into making lasagna.

I love lasagna.

For the past six months she has been brushing this request off.  Now her Italian half is from her mother, so I know she must have received some training in the kitchen.  What Italian daughter does not know how to make lasagna?

Last week we went grocery shopping.  We bought several tons of ground beef, not a typical purchase but I thought nothing of it.  We bought several tons of ground veal and ground sausage.  Not a typical purchase, but I thought nothing of it.  We bought five cans of crushed tomatoes and a can of tomato paste and some ricotta cheese.  I thought nothing of it.  We bought four packages of lasagna pasta…DING!  The bell in my head went off…LASAGNA!!

“Yes, I’m making lasagna, and you don't deserve it.”


“I’m making it Saturday for dinner on Sunday.  Jerk! You couldn’t have asked for baked ziti?  Do you have any idea how much time it takes to make lasagna?”

I do now. 

Saturday there was crushing, mixing, seasoning, boiling, baking, and browning for four hours.  The kitchen was littered with pots, pans, Pyrex dishes, and cooking implements that I didn’t know existed.  The house was filled with odors that mixed together and created a stomach rumbling mouth salivating perfume reminiscent of Thanksgiving, but with a definite flavor of Italy. 

A pot of sauce simmered on the stove for hours and in it were sausage links and meatballs absorbing the flavor of the sauce.

“Mmmm, the sauce smells delicious.”



“It’s not sauce, its gravy.  You want sauce, you get a WASP to make dinner, you want my Italian half in the kitchen…IT’S GRAVY!”

Dinner on Sunday was Heaven.  Two large squares of lasagna with some cheesy bread to sop up the gravy, and sausage and meatballs on the side.

I had no idea what a big job it is to make proper lasagna.  At least we have enough left over to last a week.  I am told that like wine it improves with age.

I wonder if I should ask for soda bread this St. Paddy’s day. 

I love soda bread.

*Tomato Gravy is much more in depth (than tomato sauce), and is also referred to as "Sunday Gravy" as it was generally the normal Sunday dinner for most Italian families. The gravy is made by beginning with a sauté of oil and meat (usually braciole, pork chops or sausages, meatballs, roasts or a combination), followed by your vegetable, tomato mixture, and seasoning. It is referred to as Gravy because of the juices from the meats that are used as your base. A proper gravy will take a minimum of 4-6 hours to properly cook, simmer, and marinate.


  1. Do you think you will ever be able to get her to make it for you again? I'm salivating just thinking about it -- the picture is too inviting for words!

  2. just to clarify, its 2 cans of peeled, 2 cans of crushed & a can of puree. also the chopmeat is ground pork/veal/beef. no ground sausage, just links.

  3. "For the last six months I have been goading her about her lack of culinary passion and have pestered her into making lasagna.

    I love lasagna."

    Well, hells bells, man... if I liked something that much I'd make it myself.

  4. You don't get it do you Carolyn?
    TexWisGirl does...and fortunately for me, so does Mrs. C.

  5. Oh man, does that sound delish! Take good care of her, Cranky!

    Right now I'm thawing and eating as much stuff as I can as fast as I can in order to free up some room in the freezer. K said I had to make room if I wanted her to make her magnificant spaghetti sauce. She makes a lot at one time, and we eat some and freeze the rest for later. :)


  6. no, I don't but then Mrs. C. does and that's all that matters ;)

  7. "Saturday... The kitchen was littered with pots, pans... The house was filled with odors that mixed together and created a stomach rumbling mouth salivating perfume reminiscent of..."

    That kinda sounds like making chili at my house, even down to the crushed tomatoes and puree.
    I might even put a pork chop in it next time.

  8. I did not know the difference between Tomato gravy and Tomato sauce. Thanks

  9. I WANT SOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. I hope you did the dishes. All of them. I'm not Italian, but my best friend is. I loved watching Granny cook. Gnocci! And etc. Those were the days.

  11. Somebody loves you to go to such trouble. It's been a long time since I've had good lasagna but what you were treated to sounds pretty darn good.

  12. Wow. You are lucky. I don't like cheese so never ever ever cook lasagna. Hubby has never asked. Never cooked it himself either, so wouldn't dare ask!

  13. That sounds delicious, you are very lucky! Can you beg your lady wife for the recipe and share it with us? Please?

  14. Well, I'm sure you'll make it up to her by bringing her a small glass of orange juice.

  15. I had no idea that it was that in-depth!
    I think I'd be embarrassed for her to see my version of lasagne

  16. Okay, I love that Mrs. C commented on here! Very cool. My husband doesn't even read my blog. I'm a tad bit jealous...

    Anyway, I wish I lived next door to you guys because I'd be over to sample that Lasagna just as soon as I smelled the sauce - err, gravy - simmering! I love lasagna. Sadly, my kids get only the frozen kind from Costco. I know, I know....but I'm Irish. I'm not any fraction of Italian. (I can cook the heck out of a potato, though!)

  17. I dread making lasagna because it is involved but my way is nowhere near as involved as the traditional Italian way - after this I'll never complain about making my version ever again!

  18. I love making lasagne, but I'm guessing the way I make it wouldn't cut it with your wife. It definitely doesn't take four hours.

  19. Oh wow, that is PROPER lasagna, not lasagne the way I make it!
    My husband loves it too, and YES it's a big deal when I make it because even my way it takes awhile and uses lots of dishes (which he cleans of course).
    I suppose Mrs C wouldn't countenance the Greek shortcut lasagne version I sometimes make, which is to tip cream over the top instead of making the bechemel...

  20. Italian/Irish? Such a great mix. I went out with an Italian/Irish guy once. We ate like Italians and drank like the Irish :)