I am one very lucky girl. My husband and I live in a beautiful home which overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. It is 7:00 PM; the temperature is 58 degrees, which for this time of year is cold. I know… you are not feeling sorry for me right about now. The sun is sitting low in the sky and I am anticipating the beautiful sunset that we often see from our decks. I have a fire going in our southwestern style chiminea and I am typing this post fireside, with the breeze blowing.
The only thing missing is my husband, who had a previous commitment. You see, he is a member of something called the Temple of Fitness. It sounds religious, but it isn’t at all. It is a fraternal group of guys committed to keeping in shape. Good mission, no doubt. The founder of this group is a soulful Italian American who commands a tremendous amount of respect from all who know him, for he is a leader, a mentor, and for our narrow purposes, a wonderful foodie. Everyone calls him Coach.
So, my husband planned to leave our home this magnificent evening to attend his annual “Godfather” meeting with his Temple of Fitness buddies. Yes, they watch the Godfather movies at this event but they also cook great pasta, Italian sauce and other wonderful Italian specialties. You will meet Coach, his son and some of the other members of his wonderful Italian family in a future post.
Throughout the afternoon, I was perplexed. What would a good Jewish man do on Passover when all of this wonderful pasta was to be served? Would he remain true to his heritage? Would he succumb to the temptations of the scrumptious, aromatic sauce on the stove that would soon grace the perfectly al dente pasta? Being the good Jewish wife that I am, I didn’t want to give him the choice. So I baked a Matzo Lasagne! I had seen recipes for this dish in various Jewish cookbooks, but had never attempted to make it. As my friend often says, the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze. But tonight seemed like the perfect occasion.
So, I made a bought some wonderful buffalo mozzarella, made a quickie tomato sauce from San Marzano tomatoes, sautéed garlic, onions and ground beef; layered it just like a traditional lasagna noodle casserole and voila (or should I say alora) matzo lasagna was ready for my husband to take to his dinner.
Only one more detail to negotiate. He was going to ride his Harley to his friend’s home. Alas, where would he put the Matzo Lasagne? Never fear; when a true HOG wants to ride, he can find a way. He put it on its side in the saddle bag!
Good thing I really didn’t care about the integrity of the dish. It really was all about preserving our religious tradition and at the same time, giving him the opportunity to participate in this sacred, male bonding experience. We will have to wait until the comments to this post come in to determine if the culinary experience was worthwhile.
PS. The sun has set and it is a another beautiful night in Paradise!