Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I miss to eat lasagna pasta with garlic bread at my favorite restaurant but it's far from my home. Its better to make lasagna at home than to go at restaurant. When I went to grocery to buy my ingredients I didn't find lasagna pasta Barilla brand. Barilla is best for me, no need to pre-cook so  it will be easier and while looking to substitute lasagna pasta I got a good idea to replaced lasagna with torti pasta or rotini pasta. I bought a good quality one to ensure it will have the same outcome like what I want.


250 grams rotini pasta or lasagna pasta
grated emmental or mozarella cheese or as you prefer

meat sauce ingredients
250 grams lean ground beef
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 beef broth + 2 tbsp water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp dry white wine
4 tbsp tomato paste
5 tbsp tomato sauce or bolognese sauce
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp dried oregano or marjoram
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil or 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper

bechamel sauce ingredients
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp flour
1 can evaporated milk or 400 liter milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation for the meat sauce
In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter then add olive oil.

Saute garlic then onion. Add the meat and cook until all change in color. Add the dry white wine, don't stir, let the wine evaporate for a minute. Add the herbs and spices.

Allow to cook for about 2 minutes then add the beef broth and water. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir then simmer until the sauce thickens ,about 5 minutes or less. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preparation for the bechamel sauce
Preheat oven 180 °C.  Prepare the round or  square baking dish. Set aside.

Put 1 liter of water in a deep pot to cook rotini pasta. Bring water to a boil add a pinch of salt. When boiling add the pasta and cook al dente, for 3 minutes. Drained.

Meanwhile, In a sauce pan over low heat, melt the butter.

Add the flour then stir continuously. Gradually add the milk then add the nutmeg ,salt and pepper. Continuously stir until nearly boil or until bubbly. Set aside.

Pour the pasta into prepared baking dish. Put the meat sauce and spread evenly on the top of the pasta.

Pour the bechamel sauce over the meat sauce and gently spread until the bechamel sauce covered the meat sauce.

Sprinkle grated cheese on the top. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned and the cheese melted.

Serve warm or cool.

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


A simple and very easy recipe for our dinner last night. Although I prefer to use charcoal for grilling but this time I don't have time to fire the charcoal outside, grilling on the pan is convenient though.

I prepared 3 pieces of chicken thigh. Clean then sprinkle and scrub to the both sides of the meat with moderate salt, black ground pepper and herbes de provence. Spirnkle some olive oil then heat the stove-top nonstick grill pan over medium flame. Put the chicken one at a time  or 2 pcs per batch. Cook until browned and until the chicken is cooked.

To make the lettuce salad 

1 head of lettuce
1/2 tbsp french old-style mustard, whole grain
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey vinegar
fresh basil and parsley, chopped
a dash of salt and white ground pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a salad bowl. Stir then gently toss the lettuce leaves until incorporated.

Bon Appetit!