A Sunday night dinner and dessert

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Zucchini-Ribbon "Lasagna" and Buttermilk Spice Cake with Pear Compote

On Sunday, March 14, I made a dish and a dessert that I would classify as mighty delicious.

    The dish was Zucchini-Ribbon “Lasagna” from the April 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living.

    My husband and I really liked the combination of the slightly sweet, slightly spicy tomato sauce studded with ground turkey that was layered with strips of zucchini (standing in for noodles) and ricotta cheese.

    The dish also made great leftover lunches — it microwaved beautifully and tasted just as delicious as the night before.

    Although it takes a bit of time to assemble the “lasagna,” it was still easy to make.

    An onion and red pepper flakes are cooked in oil, then ground turkey added and cooked. A can of whole tomatoes that has been blended in a food processor is added, then the sauce is boiled and simmered. Fresh oregano and salt finish it off.

    Zucchini that has been sliced thinly lengthwise is then alternated in layers with the sauce and dollops of ricotta cheese.

    After a 50- to 60-minute stint in the oven and 10 minutes of cooling, this yummy dish is ready to be served.


On Sunday, I also made a Buttermilk Spice Cake with Pear Compote from the March 2010 issue of Bon Appetit.

    I was drawn to this recipe because it looked quite easy, and had intriguing combination of spices that included ground star anise, vanilla bean seeds, allspice, ground ginger and grated lime peel.

    The recipe calls for a nine-inch diameter cake pan with two-inch high sides. I don’t have one with sides this high, and from past experience with Bon Appetit cake recipes, I knew it was crucial to have one this size.

    I used a nine-inch springform pan as I have in the past as a substitute for recipes that call for a high-sided cake pan.

    However, I should have cooked the cake longer than the 30 minutes directed in the recipe. Likely because of my pan substitution, there was a small bit right in the middle that didn’t quite bake properly.

    But no matter! I cut it out the soggy middle, and we are thoroughly enjoying the rest of this lovely cake, with its side of pears cooked with sugar and lime juice.

    I would definitely serve this cake to company.

    The dry ingredients of the cake, which include the aforementioned dry spices, are sifted, and added to a combination of butter, sugar, vanilla bean and lime peel in alternate additions with buttermilk.

    The compote on the side is made by cooking cubed pears, lime juice, sugar and salt in a saucepan until the pears are soft.

    The recipe calls for serving the cake with crème fraîche, but since I haven’t been able to find this, I poured a bit of whipping cream over top.

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