My husband loves his Italian foods, well, he is American-Italian.
Not long ago, I posted about the clever Wedding Favor that we received and how we utilized that pasta sauce. I still had another quart and a half of sauce leftover, so here’s what I did.
I browned some bulk Sweet Italian sausage, crumbled it, drained it well and set it aside. I gathered together the rest of the ingredients for Lasagna, Ricotta cheese, Mozzarella Cheese and of course that super pasta sauce. Hmm, but that’s going to make a really big pan of Lasagna, why not make up multiple smaller pans? We could have one now and then freeze the rest for later?
I think I may have talked about this before. I like to find those small disposable aluminum pans with the ridged foil tops that you crimp down. Perfect. Place a piece of parchment paper over each pan, and then place the covers down. I got 2 extra pans for another meal, out of one recipe. Put the extra pans, un-cooked, in the `fridge for a day and then into the freezer. Be sure to mark each container with cooking instructions as per your brand of pasta, and the date you put them together.
Now what’s an Italian-Style Supper without bread?
On a recent trip to visit with our relatives, and we had a lovely meal with my Brother-In-Law and his wife, who is an amazing cook. She made such wonderful Italian bread, so wonderful that my husband asked for her recipe, can you believe that?
Here’s what she sent me:
Patricia’s Italian Bread
7 ¼-7 ½ C. All Purpose Flour
2 packages of Active Dry Yeast
2 ½ C. warm Water (110⁰)
1 Tbsp. Salt
Cornmeal or Cooking Spray
1 Egg White, beaten with 1 Tbsp. Water
At this stage, I changed it up a little. I made half the recipe at a time (she had recommended this), but in my Food Processor.
Proof the one package of yeast in 1 ¼ C of warm water.
To the Food Processor, add 3 cups of flour and ½ Tablespoon of salt; start the machine and pour in the water and yeast mixture. Process until just combined. Stop the machine and add in the other ¼ – ½ cup flour, and process for 30-35 seconds, making a very stiff, dry dough. Turn this out onto a lightly floured board and knead the dough until it’s smooth, just a few turns should do it. Shape the dough into a tight ball and place into a oiled bowl, turning the ball once to coat the top in oil. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in size, about 1 ½ hours.
Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Roll out into a 15×12 inch rectangle. Beginning with the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough up as tightly as you can, pinching it to seal it as you go. Taper the ends and pinch together all seams. Place the loaf long seam down, onto a sheet pan that has been either cornmeal or cooking spray to insure a non-stick surface.
With a very sharp knife (I used a single-edge razor blade) slash the tops of the loafs diagonally about 1/8th of an inch deep, 2 inches apart. Brush the tops with the beaten egg white, cover and let rise in that warm spot again until they double in size, about 45-60 minutes.
When ready to bake, place a large shallow pan of boiling water in the bottom rack of a pre-heated 375⁰ oven. Place the pan of loaves on the middle rack and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush again with the remaining egg white and continue to bake for another 20 minutes.
*Note: As you can see, there are 4 loaves of bread on my half sheet pan. I couldn’t fit the two recipes on one, so I cut them in half. OOPS. Next time, I think I’ll use two sheet pans.