Westport Country Playhouse’s Michael Ross~ Italian American
Michael Ross is the Managing Director of Westport Country Playhouse. He grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but has called Connecticut home for decades. His Dad was from Sicily, his Mom was Danish, he tells some hilarious stories about growing up. This was just an enjoyable interview at the table.
Michael Ross’s Favorite Italian Recipe
This is Michael favorite Italian recipe, he is not a meat eater…so here you go…
Slice your veggies (I use zucchini and broccoli) and sauté them in garlic, salt and pepper. Butter separately until “crunch” tender. Remove garlic between each batch. Add a little water to help steam/sauté the broccoli. Keep them in separate bowls.
Now, make a béchamel sauce- melt butter– about 1-2 cups and add flour and stir until flour is cooked but not brown. You will begin to get a little nut smell when the flour is almost done. Now add milk, a little at time, and stir like crazy to prevent lumping. It will take about a quart of milk to 1-2 cups of butter. Maybe a little vegetable broth and ricotta (pint) at the end. When the sauce is done generously sprinkle with nutmeg. This is important. It helps balance the flour. You want your béchamel to be thin enough to almost pour but not quite a liquid.
When the sauce is ready add a little to the bottom of the lasagna pan and add your noodles (either precooked or the dehydrated – I use fresh frozen sheets). Add the first vegetable and spoon and spread sauce, add some parmesan cheese if desired. Keep building with another layer of noodles and the other veggie. On the second to last layer, add some cooked spinach (squeezed dry) to the veggie. Very top layer, add fresh sliced tomatoes and some sliced cheese. Spray with Pam or other spray (keeps noodles from burning). Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes. Let stand at least 15 to 20 minutes before slicing. Enjoy.