As the weather starts to warm up, time is running out for decadent winter comfort foods. You know the ones I’m talking about: braised short ribs, slow roasted pork shoulder, etc. As much as I love them, they are just a little heavy to eat during the hot Chicago summer months. So, my wife and I decided to give the season one last hurrah this past weekend.
We decided to make homemade lasagna from scratch. We spent all day making a gallon of homemade meat sauce, letting it simmer for a good 4-5 hours. I made and rolled out enough pasta to feed a small town in Sicily. My wife chopped piles of fresh herbs and grated enough Parmesan cheese to make a mini ski slope.
The only thing we couldn’t do was make fresh ricotta or mozzarella. I didn’t have enough milk or the time to make it. It was kind of a bummer since we were making everything else from scratch. So my wife and I vowed next time we would at least make our own ricotta. She already found a recipe on the internet and if spring doesn’t come too fast, we might even have a chance at another round of lasagna this winter. Side note: a gallon of meat sauce yields approximately enough sauce for two 9in. by 13in. casseroles, so we had 5 days’ worth of homemade lasagna for lunch and dinner.
For those of you who also have a true love of fresh cheese, check out our upcoming Homemade Cheesemaking classes. We are also excited to welcome Kirstin Jackson, author of “It’s Not You, Its Brie: Unwrapping America’s Unique Culture of Cheese” in April at Lincoln Square. She will lead a discussion of American cheese producers and share her insight to the growing cheese market in our country. The price of the class will include a copy of her new book as well as a tasting of her favorite cheese-inspired dishes featured in the book. Sign up here.
Have you ever made your own fresh cheese? How did it turn out? Share your experiences here.