28 Jul 2014

That Multilayered Italian Delight

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Lick your lips: July 29th is National Lasagna Day. Seriously.  A whole 24 hours dedicated to the scrumptious combo of pasta, soft cheese, sliced cheese, tomato sauce, and minced meat (debatably optional) main dish that has become as mainstay for Americans as the hotdog. Whether restaurant, pasta bar, or homemade, lasagna can be relied upon as a tasty, filling meal. Lasagna can also be relied upon for intrigue – its recipes are amenable to a large spectrum of variation in the types of cheeses, spices, and lasagna pasta (whole wheat? spinach?) used for cooking.

Speaking of recipes – as this writer can attest from her first attempt at lasagna age 10 – lasagna is exemplary for educating about the need to read an entire recipe through to the end before embarking on cooking. I ended up with a thick layer of pasta on the bottom, tomato sauce in the middle, and cheese on top, not realizing that the last recipe line would say, “Repeat three times.” So much for multilayered on that first trial.

The question is: How do you like your lasagna? Do you go for meat and cheese both, or just dairy? (These days there are even non-dairy and full-on vegan versions, as well – the jury’s out on whether they really count as lasagna.) Do you enjoy a layer of spinach added in, or prefer to forego that? Ricotta cheese, or cottage? Flakes of parmesan on top, or just leave the top shredded cheese layer as is?

At Rockaway Care Center, lasagna is popular. Whenever lasagna is served, residents don’t have to second guess it – it’s lasagna, for crying out loud. Yummy!

So ready your fork and knife, dig in, and enjoy. Celebrate lasagna! In doing so, we not only celebrate dish itself, we also honor the influence of other cultures into our routine cuisine, as exemplified at Rockaway Care Center.



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