During the winter, I stumbled upon an amazing combination of flavors for a lasagna: veal and dashi. I wrote about it here. This time around it was different, but took advantage of another exotic broth to create a standard-looking dish that had a surprising depth and complexity of flavor. In this instance, I used the last quart of barbecued pork broth from the freezer plus a healthy dollop of our basil/sorrel/nasturtium pesto to make the velouté, and ground turkey with a jar of our free-range tomato sauce for the… uh… sauce.

The combination of our super-sweet tomatoes and the pork/pesto liason made the turkey almost taste like ground pork–even sausage–in terms of all the body and aroma it gathered. The noodles were a jerusalem artichoke flour-enhanced semolina, which were OK, but next time I will roll out a custom pasta, probably heavy on some mushroom essence (powdered shiitake and/or duxelles of whatever’s growing in the woods) to give added profundity to the umamitude. So go forth, and slobber; the easiest way to take your lasagna to another place is by using a passionately smoky broth.

10 comments to Riffing

  • The Spiteful Chef

    You’re getting buck-wild, Peter. Do you need a coloring book or something? Powdered mushroom pasta? Nasturtium veloute? Barbecued pork broth? Dashi lasagna? Wow. I’d drink barbecued pork broth out of a Keebler Elf mug in my pajamas for free. Sounds delicious.

  • lisa

    How did you make nasturtium pesto? All flowers, or flowers and leaves? I have a lot of leaves right now, but the plants aren’t blooming. Planted too far in shade, I think.

  • peter

    Kristie: That’s good, because I’m not sure you’d find too many people to pay you to do it. Although now that I say it, I realize that I’m probably wrong.

    Lisa: Nasturtiums like full sun. I used mostly leaves for this, and puréed the flowers in softened butter with a little lemon and salt (it’s also in the freezer.)

  • Heather

    No, the easiest way to take my lasagna places is in a car.

    My nasturtiums seeded themselves last fall, so I don’t have to do a thing this year.

  • Brittany

    As soon as the nasturtiums are blooming in my neighbor’s garden, I will steal them in the middle of the night (humming the mission impossible theme to myself)
    and make that pesto.

  • cookiecrumb

    I’m making up a big pot of corned beef broth today. (How trite.)
    I always save it.

  • Brooke

    Trust you to fancy up a lasagne more than I thought possible. Well done, Peter, I am slobbering.

    I gotsta make that pesto soon too.

  • The Spiteful Chef

    I get paid to do ALL SORTS of things in my pajamas. The privilege of having big gazongas.

  • Heather

    Which came first: Kristie’s boobs or her engagement ring?

  • The Spiteful Chef

    The boobs. But I’m pretty sure the boobs had something to do with the coming of the ring (holy Frodo!).

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I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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