[Sca-cooks] Recent cooking workshop

Christiane christianetrue at earthlink.net
Tue Jan 26 10:22:40 PST 2010

Cariadoc says: 
>He who wants to make lesanga, take good white flour and boil it in 
>capon broth. If it is not so much, put in some other water, and put 
>in some salt to boil with it, and dump it in a broad, flat bowl, and 
>put in enough cheese, and throw over it the cuttings of the fat of 
>the capon.

Recipe No. 1 may suffer from a translation problem and a knowledge gap problem. It seems to be directions for making lasagna noodles and how you can serve them up. I look at it as "make them from good white flour and boil them in capon broth to cook them; if more liquid is needed to boil them, add water and salt (to give it some of the flavor you'll lose by diluting the capon broth)." Then you put the noodles in a broad, flat bowl, and sprinkle them liberally with cheese and chopped-up chicken fat (perhaps from the capon you boiled to get the broth). The hot noodles melt the fat and the cheese together and you probably don't cook it any more than that.

Now on to recipe No. 2: 

>If you want to make torteli of meat of fresh mixed pork, boil it so 
>that it is cooked, and beat it with a knife so that it is very good, 
>and take the pot and boil it and grind it in a mortar and put in up 
>to six eggs that are boiled and mix with the meat and put in good 
>spices and put in some good dry, grated cheese, and you want to make 
>this pie in a pie-shell of lasagna and one should not boil it in meat 
>broth and it should be given for dish with a long meat pottage of 
>pepper, and it is good.
I see this as a variation of today's lasagna, instead of many layers of boiled noodles and filling, it's a layer of noodles, the filling (the pulverized meat, grated cheese, and hardboiled eggs, probably sliced), and another layer of noodles, with the whole thing being baked. If you're making the flat noodles out of white flour instead of semolina, and being that the fresh white flour noodles are much softer in texture than the durum ones, they'd bake up differently, probably not getting that rubbery dried texture. I am guessing you'd boil the noodles beforehand, which would make them noodles and not thin sheets of dough.

This is all guesswork for me; but the fact that today's "traditional" Neapolitan and Sicilian lasagna makers always include a layer of sliced hardboiled eggs, it's certainly intriguing to see just how old that tradition is!

Adelisa di Salerno 

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