It's no secret that I just adore Smitten Kitchen, so when I was hunting down a dish to make for friends with a new baby recently, I went directly to her site. I wanted something that was neither bland nor too spicy, substantial enough to be a meal on its own, nutritious, OK either to eat right away or later on, and easy to eat on the run.
And I almost found it.
Deb raves about this mushroom lasagna, slightly adapted from Ina Garten, and it did indeed sound delicious. But as wonderful as lasagna is and as fabulously as it freezes for later use, I worried about the large-block-like nature of it. Too hard to eat with one hand while holding a brand-new baby in the other? A pasta swap was clearly the answer.
So I made the recipe as written with the single adjustment of cooking up some al dente rigatoni instead of the lasagna noodles, and playing a little fast and loose with that whole "layers" concept. Worked like a charm.
And proof that cooking for others doesn't have to be without a reward for the cook:
I had to bake a separate serving for myself. There was too much to fit in the disposable foil pan... couldn't be helped. Also, it was DELICIOUS. Not quite as pretty without the extra broiled cheese on top, but believe you me, it did the job.
Mmmmm. Broiled cheese.