Readable Eats: Carmen Will's 'Doubly Departed' and Lasagna with Garlic Bread and Salad

Welcome back to another series where we pair binge-worthy books from Cozy Cat Press with recipes inspired by our favorite authors. This week, we're cooking lasagna with garlic bread and salad inspired by the food Amanda Winters brings to her best friend Dinah's house in Doubly Departed: An Amanda Winters Mystery by Carmen Will. Carmen lives in Arizona and is currently at work on her second novel in the Amanda Winters series. You can purchase her book here

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The recipes for the lasagna, garlic bread and salad are below.

Lasagna

For the tomato sauce:
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoon of olive oil
1 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon each of basil and oregano
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a small saucepan on medium heat, sautee garlic in olive oil until fragrant. Then, turn the heat down and add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasoning and cook ten minutes on low until sauce has cooked down and looks thicker. Add vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste and continue cooking 5 minutes, then turn off the burner and remove from heat.  

For the bechamel sauce:
1-1/2cups milk (for dairy-free, use unsweetened soy milk)
1-1/2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (for vegetarian or vegan, use nutritional yeast)
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium-sized frying pan heat milk on medium heat until beginning to scald, then whisk in flour and let mixture thicken, 3-5 minutes. Then, add salt, pepper, and cheese, and whisk to combine. Then, take off heat. 

For the roasted vegetables:
2 zucchinis, sliced lengthwise 1/4" thick
1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise 1/4" thick
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper

1. Heat oven to 375F.
2. Mix olive oil with oregano, salt and pepper in small cup or bowl. 
2. Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil, then place slices of zucchini and eggplant close together and use pastry brush to coat slices on one side with seasoned oil. Bake 10 minutes, then flip slices and coat with remaining oil. Bake another 5-10 minutes until golden brown, then remove from oven and immediately use spatula to place slices on clean plate (this prevents them from sticking to the foil once cooled). 

For the noodles:
2 cups of fusili pasta noodles

1. Cook noodles according to package instructions and drain. 

For assembly:
1. Heat the oven to 350F. In an 8x8 glass baking dish, use a ladle to coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of sauce. Then, add a layer of roasted vegetables on top of the sauce, followed by more sauce, half of the pasta, and half of the white sauce. Repeat the process once more, adding grated cheese on top of the final layer of white sauce if desired. Cook 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Garlic Bread

Ingredients:
Half a loaf of french bread
1/4 cup butter (for dairy-free or vegan, use vegan buttery spread)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chilies
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (for vegetarian or vegan, use nutritional yeast)
 

1. In a small saucepan on medium heat, melt butter. Then, add garlic, sauteeing until it begins to sizzle. Add seasonings and take pan off heat.
2. Cut a baguette in half lengthwise, leaving the loaf connected the the bottom. Spread with buttery mixture and top with parmesan or nutritional yeast.
3. Broil 3-5 minutes until crust is golden.

Salad with hearts of romaine, arugula, tomatoes and cheesy croutons

Ingredients:
1 small head romance lettuce, washed and chopped
1 small bag argula, washed and chopped
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 baguette
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (for vegetarian or vegan, use nutritional yeast)
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
 

1. To make the croutons, preheat the oven to 325F. Slice the baguette into small cubes, then toss with 3 tabelspoons of olive oil plus salt, pepper and cheese. Bake 15 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure all sides are evenly browned. 
2. In a small bowl, make the dressing by whisking together lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar and a dash of salt. Set aside. 
2. To assemble the salad, toss the romaine, arugula, croutons and tomatoes in a large bowl. Toss with dressing. 

 

 A feast to fill your belly before you sit down with a copy of Carmen Will's "Doubly Departed."

A feast to fill your belly before you sit down with a copy of Carmen Will's "Doubly Departed."

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