According to native Washingtonians, or at least anyone who’s lived here longer than I have tells me that this is an unseasonably cold winter. I just tell them that it’s Mother Nature testing me because I now have to take the Metro to work and have to walk a total of 4 blocks every day. (I know you’re feeling sorry for me, I just can’t see it). The weather lately, in my own humble opinion, rivals the days of my life in Chicago. Two pairs of socks, boots, two layers underneath my heavy down coat, actually wearing a hat and wrapping a scarf around my neck and face. The other day, it was so cold and windy that my nostrils started to freeze every time I breathed. I’ve decided that I acclimate to my environments very quickly and have to get used to such cold temperatures again.
This weekend, Miles and I went to the northern part of the District to visit my dear 90 yr old bff from my last job. I told her that I would keep in touch with her, and I intended to keep that promise. As luck would have it, the day I promised, it was snowing incredibly heavily, but since I’m from the Midwest, I toughened up and headed north. My poor little car with zero wheel drive barely made the turn into her subdivision. I won’t even describe the drive up the tiny inclines as we tried to make it to Whole Foods on the way home. We decided that we should stock up on vittles, since we were going to barricade ourselves in the house for the rest of the day and possibly the next. When we arrived at Whole Foods, they were actually preparing to close early due to the weather.
I quickly searched through my Pocket app (my favorite app where I store recipes to try later) and came across a Lamb Lasagna Recipe from I Am A Food Blog. Miles isn’t a huge fan of peas (read not a fan at all), but agreed to try it. I thought it sounded delicious and the perfect dish for a wintery day. I made a few modifications to accommodate my 12yr old, but it was delicious. Filling, comforting, yet the perfect balance of light flavors that left you wanting more, but stopping before stuffing yourself unconfortably. Having a roaring fire to go with dinner wasn’t bad either.
- ½ onion, diced
- 1 stalk of celery, diced
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 ½ cup peas
- dash of cayenne pepper
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- ¾ cup parmesan cheese, plus more to taste
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella
- ¼ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 15 lasagna noodles cooked
- Parmesan, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Add a touch of oil to a large skillet and cook onions and celery over medium high heat until soft and translucent. Add the lamb and cook, breaking into pieces and cooking until deeply browned. If there’s an excessive amount of fat rendered out, remove from the pan before adding in the peas, mint, cumin and chicken broth. Simmer over low heat until stock is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste, remove from the heat and set aside.
- Over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir constantly over medium heat for about three minutes, until smooth. Pour in half of the milk in a thin stream while whisking. When smooth, add the rest of the milk. Keep on medium heat and stir for about 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens. If you have any lumps, you can strain the roux in a fine mesh strainer, then return it to the post. Stir in the cheeses and parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- assemble the lasagna: In an oven-proof casserole dish (I used a 13 x 11 inch), spread out a generous amount of the lamb mixture, top with a layer of lasagna noodles then cheese sauce. Repeat until you have used up all of the noodles, sauce and cheese, ending with a cheese layer. Sprinkle on a bit of parmesan and bake, for 30 minutes.
- or until cheese is browned and crispy.