Origin: The word "lasagna" comes from Greek meaning "trivet or stand for a pot.” The Romans borrowed the word as "lasanum", in Latin, meaning "cooking pot". The Italians used the word to refer to the dish in which lasagna is made. It wasn't long before the name of the food took on the name of the serving dish.
This month’s recipe I created on a recent trip to visit my dear friend Ruth in San Francisco. We were in the local grocery picking up things for a New Year’s party she was hosting and it dawned on us we needed to make dinner that night. Her daughter, Margot is a vegetarian and this is what I came up with to please the whole family. If you do not feel like making polenta from scratch, Trader’s Joe’s has pre-made.
Polenta (See below recipe)
1 24oz. jar Fire Roasted Garlic Tomato sauce
1 13oz. can of Spinach
1 15oz. container of Ricotta cheese
1 8oz. package of fresh Mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Provolone cheese
½ cup Grated Asiago Cheese
• 6 cups water
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
• ½ stick butter cubed
Bring 6 cups of water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat to medium, and gradually whisk in the cornmeal ¼ cups at a time, slowly shaking in meal. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens, stirring often. Turn off the heat. Add the butter, and stir until melted. Pour into an 8x8” brownie pan and chill overnight.
4 Cheese Spinach Polenta Lasagna
Heat oven to 350.
Turn out polenta on cutting board and cut into ¼-1/2” stripes.
In a lasagna baking dish, layer polenta like you would noodles, make one row. Add ½ jar of sauce. Cube fresh mozzarella and layer it on sauce. Open can of spinach and drain well, pressing as much of the water out. Mix ricotta cheese with spinach and layer that on top of mozzarella. Add second layer of polenta. Top with shredded Provolone, rest of sauce and Asiago cheese. Bake for 1 hour.
Table Setting of the Month: - Welcome the new with a few tips on repurposing what you already have. I had a TV armoire that housed the master bedroom TV for years, with the evolution of plasmas, the armoire kind of fell out of style. Instead of using it for clothing storage (the original purpose of armories-) Instead I reinvented it as a Bar.
• Add wine glass under-shelf holders (Menard’s Kitchen cabinet area.)
• Add sassy cork art to back TV panel opening (Office Max.)
• Add small wine refrigerator (Costco.)
• Add wine rack
• Add bar accessories
• Use drawers and additional shelving for platters, bowls, candles and linens for party planning.