Whenever my mother cooks stuff I like to eat especially for me, I am grateful for the shower of attention, I feel loved, cherished and nourished. I seriously do. I show my appreciation by slurping it all down to the very last bite. No one should ever take their mother’s (or grandmother’s) cooking for granted. Thanks to maternal influence, this is now my preferred way of showing my family I care.
My daughter’s current favourite is a simple lasagna – no meat, no bechamel sauce, just pasta, mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce – but I have been fending off her incessant requests to make it because (1) my husband is direly cheese phobic and I don’t like making meals that alienate any member of the family and (2) I absolutely hate grating cheese yet cannot bear to buy the pre-grated stuff. But last Monday when my husband was not home for dinner, I decided to make it because I just couldn’t bear to quash her enthusiasm for the umpteenth time. My husband offered to grate the cheese the night before despite his intolerance for the smell because he knows how much I hate doing it. This is what I call love.
I have always found lasagna rather tedious to make because of all the different components that have to be cooked separately before assembling. Like the lazy person who always seems to find an easy way out, I certainly did when it comes to making lasagna.
The only pre-cooking involved in my lazy version is boiling the lasagna sheets. I do not like the no-cook kind – I can never get them to soften in the oven. For the tomato sauce, I simply stir together a packet of Pomi strained tomatoes (no BPA!), a teaspoon of sea salt, a pinch of red pepper flakes, a generous tablespoonful of extra virgin olive oil, a clove of garlic grated in and a teaspoon of dried oregano to make a sauce that is no less delicious than a simmered one. To complete the lasagna, I layered the cooked pasta sheets with the tomato sauce and grated mozzarella in a baking dish, popped it into the oven to bake until the top layer of cheese was bubbling and golden.
The lasagna above was made with spinach pasta and cooked my lazy way. My daughter had four helpings. Now if that is not a show of appreciation – or greed – I don’t know what is.