On Wednesday I got back to work from vacation and was reading my email and the New York Times was like, you should make broccoli rabe lasagna this weekend, and I was like, YES IN FACT I SHOULD. I very impressively went grocery shopping after work the next day in the middle of a polar vortex or whatever it is this time (it WASN’T THAT COLD, PEOPLE. You all need to spend a winter in Estonia). (Or Siberia, I guess. But I got there after January and it wasn’t that cold. Only like -10°C. I once told my teacher I was cold and she gave me this very pitying look and said, “This is very warm for us.” But now I know that she was doing that thing where you try to seem cool by pretending you’re not cold. I have embraced it, as you see. But it’s really not that cold here though. The inside of your nose doesn’t even freeze.)
Anyway, I decided there was no need to leave the apartment all weekend, since I had to finish copyediting (I want to link to the book but I can’t decide if I shouldn’t???), and also use the cold as an excuse to have a much-needed two full days without talking to anyone. I had stocked up on baking and food things, so in between copyediting I made toasted rye molasses chocolate chip cookies (we hate Chris Kimball now, though, right? oh well) and pear bread and watched Good Behavior, this show I became obsessed with on the plane back from Shanghai and which caused a rift in my friend group because I said the main guy was the hottest guy of all time and none of them agreed. Anyway, a lot of exciting things happened on the show, so I made extensive mistakes in the baking processes, but it’s fine.
I’m actually procrastinating from starting cooking right now because I don’t feel like standing up. I have eaten some gross frozen gnocchi for lunch. Also, I reread the recipe just now and just laughed the whole time because it’s so ridiculous and I don’t have any of the proper cooking equipment and have no intention of doing half of the ridiculous things they tell me to do. It’s by David Tanis. I feel like he’s fancy but I don’t remember who he is.
Ah, yes, I just googled him (true story: this is now lowercase in the world of copyediting) and he has written all these books with really pretty covers, and writes a column called City Kitchen, which is all about, I guess, how you can do ridiculously fancy things in your very tiny kitchen. Well, I have an enormous kitchen because I have moved up in the world, so whatever. I don’t think I’ve posted any pictures of it here yet—actually I had forgotten I’d even done a post from here. Oh, but I was woken up in the middle of the night by this ridiculously loud meowing that sounded exactly like Fitzpatrick; I don’t know whether it was the ghost of Fitzpatrick, a very lifelike dream, or some sort of terrible cat situation happening in the alley outside, but I assume it was a sign either way so I’ll just go with it.
It’s only 3:45 but I finished copyediting and have nothing else to do, and this recipe might take 47 billion years, so I guess I’ll start.
Some very useful cooking information for you: broccoli rabe is a very bitter green, which is why I like it (and why many people do not). It is also called rapini: when you do self checkout at Stop and Shop, the mysterious female checkout voice will say to you, “Please put your RAPINI in the bag,” so that everyone knows you are buying broccoli rabe like an asshole. I think it is only marginally related to broccoli, and tastes more interesting. It is not spelled “broccoli raab,” unfortunately.
I probably shouldn’t say this, but I am cold.
I am going to consolidate this down from a three-pot (+baking dish) recipe to a one-pot recipe, because this is some serious nonsense. I’m doing all the steps in a different order.
First: Blanching the broccoli rabe. Blanching is a thing that I have probably made fun of in the past, but I don’t know what happens if you don’t do it. I believe it preserves the bright-green color and reduces the bitterness and uses up an extra pot for no reason. I’m just going to cut off the very ends of the stems on their way into the pot but otherwise not do anything to them.
While I wait to blanch, I’m getting the other stuff ready. I just ran out of regular flour so I’m going to have to do the bechamel with whole wheat flour (or bread flour but that seems gross??). I just googled whether that will work and ended up with a bunch of people saying that you should never eat wheat or you’ll die immediately, so I’m mad. I thought we were over that?
OK, I just took a break to keep lasagna-ing and watch an episode of that show because I was getting tired of listening to myself, but then the show was SO RIDICULOUSLY STRESSFUL that I can never watch it again. It was so stressful that in fact while watching, I made pesto BY HAND without a food processor. (1 c. of the chopped raab, some garlic, some oil. I guess I forgot to say that I blanched the raaaab, cold-watered it, and chopped it into too-small pieces.) I didn’t even really want to do the pesto step of the recipe, but somehow it just happened automatically. (There was just a lot of chopping and my hands will smell until the end of time. It wasn’t hard. I would not recommend that you ever do it, though. Oh, and shout out to a certain unnamed sister who allegedly lost my food processor.)
Now I have salted and peppered my ricotta (INSUFFICIENTLY, AS IT WILL LATER TURN OUT) and put water on to boil for the lasagna. I felt like something should be done to the rest of the chopped greens, but did nothing. (I SHOULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING.) I feel like I’ve already been doing this for 500 hours. Ugh, I’m still stressed. Never watch that show. I’ve now been cooking this for so long that I no longer have any interest in eating it. Also, cooking lasagna noodles is very annoying, and also also, the recipe does not say if you’re supposed to cook the noodles only partway or all the way, so we are all doomed.
Ughhhhhhhhhh, I just layered it. Except I was supposed to get four layers but I got like eight because of the small pot (turns out I don’t have a lasagna pan???????) but I just like didn’t notice that was going to happen even though it was very obvious that it was going to happen so I had to do like ridiculously thin stupid layers toward the end and then I ran out of bechamel so the top is just like pasta with cheese and it is going to be terrible ;LASIDJGPQ9348UGA;LDKGJA;.
The end. (I feel like these posts always end suddenly and dramatically, and usually crankily.)
OK, the review is that you should not do the pesto, it’s way too oily (WHICH I KNEW WAS WHAT WOULD HAPPEN). It’s also just very creamy and overwhelming, so I’m having to eat some raw cherry tomatoes right now to balance it out. And I didn’t add enough salt. Now I don’t know what to do with myself because I have no imagination and cannot do anything except copyedit.