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Monday, May 13, 2013

Alessio's Birthday Lasagna - - Lasagne Bianche ai Carciofi, Spinaci e Formaggi - - White Lasagna with Artichokes, Spinach and Cheeses

I had a real fear of artichokes.  I knew that I could never de-heart an artichoke without an artichoke
pro showing me step-by-step and then guiding me through it when I tried to do it on my own.  I thought that person would be Marie November.  She was the mom of my dear friend Ginger and she could cook some artichokes!  But, Marie is no longer with us, and I missed the chance to cook with her.  Oy, another life lesson about putting things off until tomorrow.  With Marie gone, I thought my fear of artichokes would be with me forever.

Then came Alessio Stefano's birthday dinner at my apartment.  I told him that I'd cook anything he wanted for this very important day, and that he should pick something special that his mom would have made for him.  Well, he picked something big alright, he picked Lasagne Bianche ai Carciofi e Formaggi (White Lasagna with Artichokes and Cheeses) Ahhh!!!!

It was a challenging meal.  I was totally stressed out about it, yet it came together.  I can now cut the heart out of an artichoke without a second thought.  I can de-choke it, the whole bit.  No damn artichoke is going to get the best of me!

And it's all thanks to you Alessio.  Thank you for the challenge although you had no idea you were challenging me!  Who knows, maybe I'll even go home tonight and cut out some artichoke hearts, just for the hell of it! And here's to you Marie November, the artichoke queen.

There was one serving left and I saved it for my son Marc.  Since he is my toughest critic, I was really glad to have some for him to try.  He loved it!  All the fears were well worth it.  Truly happy.

TIP - If you have a grapefruit spoon with serrated edges, it's really helpful to scrape out the choke.

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