Dear Culinary SOS: My son and I enjoyed a delightful take on lasagna at the Westwood Palomino in early December. We requested a recipe. The dish was: deconstructed lasagna and contained a lamb mixture, cheese and mafalda pasta. The young lady would not divulge the recipe. The great blending of flavors lingers even now. We hope you can get it for us. Living in South Pasadena, we do not visit Westwood too often.
Dear Margaret: We were able to coax the recipe from Palomino. We loved the depth of flavor in this "deconstructed" take on lasagna. The components of the dish can be prepared ahead of time and assembled in a final few tosses on the stove, making it easy if you're planning for company.
Palomino's deconstructed lamb lasagna
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Total time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Servings: 4 to 8
Note: Adapted from Palomino Westwood. Mafalda pasta is available at select cooking stores and Italian markets.
Basic tomato sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, crushed by hand, with the juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
In a 2-quart heavy-bottom saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat just until it begins to ripple, about 2 minutes. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently until the onions are translucent. Stir in the basil, tomatoes, salt and pepper and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes break down and the sauce just coats the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. This makes about 2 cups sauce.