Catering during the harvest of our own olive trees

Our dear Italian friends convinced us to do our own raccolto. They will show us how to do it. Mamma Anne doesn’t want to miss this event, and, Diane, our American friend who lives nearby, and her puppy dog, Oskars best friend, will join the female forces. My contribution is restricted to the catering because of a really painful back, but lunch and afternoon teatime is obligatory for my working people.

A pumpkin tomato soup and a mushroom lasagna is today’s lunch menu.

The spicy mushroom lasagna from Ottolenghi’s latest book, Flavour, is awesome, although I changed it a little bit 😉.

Chop 500 grams of fresh Parisian mushrooms and 500 grams of superb porcini. Spread on baking paper on an oven tray. Mix with some olive oil and some salt. Bake in the oven at 200° for 30mins. Stir a few times.

In the meanwhile, soak 30 grams of chopped dried porcini in 400 ml of vegetable stock for at least 30 mins.

Chop 1 onion, 4 garlic cloves and 1 carrot in tiny pieces. Heat a pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Fry the onion, garlic and carrot mixture. Stir and bake. Add 1 can of tomatoes and a can of water. Stir and bake. Add the stock and the dried porcini and 1 large table spoon of dried basil. Allow to simmer for approximately 30 mins. Stir regularly. Taste, add pepper and salt. The sauce needs to thicken as a ragu sauce. Once ready, add the ovenbaked mushrooms and 100 ml of low fat cream.

I make a portion a fresh pasta with 200 grams of semolina, 1 egg, 30 ml of water and salt. Thanks to the pasta machine lasagna sheets are quickly made.

Take 2 rectangular oven dishes, a small one for the mozzarella version and and a larger one of 15/25 cm for the parmesan version.

Mix 50 grams of grated parmesan cheese with 2 teaspoons of dried basil. Slice 200 grams of mozzarella.

Oil both oven dishes. Start with the sauce, continue with the cheese, lasagna, sauce, etc… Finish both dishes with cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. All this can be prepared the day before.

Heat the oven at 160°. Bake the lasagna for at least 30 mins. Cover if they become too dark. Keep warm until the working ladies decide to take a break.

Serve with a arugula with some lemon, honey, olive oil dressing.

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