Here's your middle-of-the-week brain booster!!!
Soooooooooo growing up a family favorite dish of ours was my mom's Shepherd's pie!!! It's just sooooooooooooooo good!!! It doesn't sound like anything amazing, but to me it just sounds like HOME!!! So it's basically a casserole, on the bottom is a mixture of ground beef, seasoned with onion soup mix and corn, then on top is mashed potatoes and on top of that is melted cheddar cheese. Then you make it in the oven at 350 til everything is warmed and the cheese is slightly browned... then you... and this is strictly a GINTY THING buuuuuut I highly recommend for everyone...THEN you drizzle Catalina/French dressing on top of your piece...Mmmmmmm....I''m literally drooling just thinking about it....don't let that mess get on you...;) Ahahahaahaa!!!
So there's all kinds of crazy variations of this dish and some of them are just really NASTY! I'll never forget eating it at these people from England's house....NO CHEESE on top and gravy in the meat and weird veggies and they would put like a mint jelly on it....I was soooooooo appalled but did manage to eat mine.
Well my mom explained to us that the reason why Shepherd's Pie is called what it is, is because the shepherd's were always so poor, and they would just make do with whatever they had and would use scraps of whatever leftover meat there was to make their pie!!! I assumed that the shepherd's were Irish and that the potatoes were of high abundance, so this was something they could do with them in Ireland!!!! Not to sure HOW ACCURATE this is, buuuuuuuuuuut, according to my mom, IT WAS!!!!
With all that being said...
lets talk about LASAGNA!!!
I know, I know, abrupt, random
subject change right?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Soooooooooo my mom, who was very Italian, thought lasagna was to be made a certain way. Red sauce, beef, mozzarella, parm, and of course RICOTTA CHEESE...NOT COTTAGE CHEESE...EVERRRR!!!!
Annnnnnnnd she would get into it with this "white" lady that thought she was such a good cook and thought her lasagna was better than my mom's. Her lasagna involved a white gravy type sauce, NOT alfredo though and chicken and veggies and I think maybe even BEANS...let me tell you...MY MOM WAS APPALLED!!! .
She knows how to make a lota food, and she can make it look good, BUUUUUUT she can't make it taste good!!!
Anyways, I was researching about IF all Italians use ricotta cheese in their lasagna and I found a whole article about how in Italy, there are many variations of lasagna depending the location due to what is available most to the people there. Which makes sense, think about how even here in the US, what is popular in one state of our country is not known of in other parts depending what is cultivated and grown there. And every Italian thinks THERE WAY is THE BEST WAY!!! That's just the way Italians are, every Italian cook thinks THEY ARE THE BEST!!!! And to be honest, THEY ARE!!! ;)
(Buuuuuuuut by the way, NONE of the variations involved white gravy, corn, beans!!!)
The article went on to ALSO SAY that basically, as far as what meat Italians chose to put in their lasagna, depended on what was leftover from that weeks cooking...meatballs, sausage, chicken, etc...
When I read that I was like, OMW
"Did you know???..."
Lasagna is the ITALIAN'S
"WHEN LIFE THROWS YOU LEFTOVER MEATBALLS...
Because, Italians are just COOL like that! Most people, ugh, I'm sick of this food, just throw it out, buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut Italians???? Nah!!!!
I imagine the first time lasagna was being created went something like this...
Uh Joe-a, whata we-a gonna do with all these-a leftover meatballs from Little Joe's birthday party-a? Eh I don't-a know-a Maria, why don't we do-a something amazing with a them that will change the world Maria? Like what-a Joe? Donate-a them to the homeless shelter down-a the street??? DONATE THEM???? Yells Joe in horror!!! You-a gotta be-a kidding me babe!!!! I said do something AMAZING WITH THEM-A that willa chang-a the world-a!!!!
Let me think, ah yes-a, I know what-a we'll-a do-a with-a them-a, we'll make a whole new entrée. It will be like a layered pie with noodles and-a, we'll throw on some-a marinara between, parm on top of the marinara, mozzarella on the very top and THEN +we'll-a cutta up the-a leftover meatballs from-a Little Joe's birthday and putta them in between-a the layers of cheese and noodles!!! What do-a you-a think-a about-a that Maria???
Oh yes-a Joe, that seems like a great idea, Oh and-a JOE, I know, we'll put RICOTTA cheese in between-a all the layers as wella!! Ah yes, MARIA, ricotta cheese, oh my sweet shmoocums, YES-A, RICOTTA CHEESE!!! The perfect finishing touch!!! See Maria, THAT IS WHY I MARRIED YOU...because, I am-a good-a already...buuuuuuuuut-a TOGETHER, together YOU MAKE ME AMAZING-A!!! *SMOOCH♥ Oh-a Joe, I love you too and DONATE THEM-A???? FUGGETTABOUTIT!!!! *Smooch♥smooch♥SMOOOOOOCH!!!!♥
EH LITTLE JOE, go-a getta the big pot, it's-a COOKING TIME!!!!
Annnnnnnnnnd there you have it folks, LASAGNA,
the ITALIAN'S VERSION OF SHEPHERD'S PIE!!!
"...Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelllll NOW YOU DO, annnnnnnnnd don't you FORGET IT!!!"
MAKE LASAGNA!!! ;)"
♥Mary Frances :)
(Mary Ginty quote)