My son, Geoff, (visiting from Japan) has moved on to other cities, other friends, other relatives. It was really great having him here!! He kept busy with lots of biking, and we all had a great time canoeing on the St. Croix River.
I do love Lasagne!! Even in summer!! A not-too-heavy, meaty-but-light tomato sauce, with plenty of wonderful, melty cheese on top — All infused with plenty of heavenly fennel seed.
Confession: I used to make lasagne with all the correct steps and layers — Using the flat lasagne noodles, the ricotta cheese layers, the mozzarella layers — And it was all so Italian-wonderful. I do not have time for all of that anymore — I now make a wonderful, truly tasty, Short-Cut Lasagne.
Instead of the large lasagne noodles and the ricotta mixture — I simply use the fresh cheese-ravioli pasta!! The raviolis work great as the noodle/cheese layer, all at once!! I prepare my own meat/tomato mixture, with ground beef, Italian sweet sausage, chunky tomato sauces and plenty of crushed fennel seed. Then, I simply layer with the fresh raviolis (and some grated mozzarella) and I can easily (and quickly) throw together a wonderful, cheesy Lasagne in any shape baking dish!!
I baked this big batch of Lasagne in one of my large, almond-shaped dishes — Stoneware, wheel-thrown and altered, white slip with ash glaze. I love making this almond-shape (or boat-shape). I enjoy the earthy, but dramatic presence — As a display piece (holding bananas or pears), or as a baking dish or serving vessel.