When I was very small, my mother worked at a restaurant owned by a German guy named Heinrich. Heinrich named the restaurant after himself. Or, rather, after the nickname for the name “Heinrich.”
Do you know the nickname for Heinrich?
Do you see where this is going?
Yes. Dear old Heinrich named his restaurant “Heinie’s.” I am not joking.
One would think that having a name that is the slang term for one’s butt would have turned people off from wanting to eat there, but he actually did pretty good business. And he apparently had pretty good food.
One of the dishes that he made was something called Tallerine. Until precisely 5 minutes ago, I’d always believed he invented this dish, because I’ve never met anyone else who knew about it. I searched online just to make sure, though – you know, so that I wouldn’t be wrong on the internet – and was surprised to find tons of pages about it. So, Heinie didn’t invent it. But he did give my family the idea for making it, and I’ve never in my life met anyone else who knew about it, so he still gets the credit as far as I’m concerned!
Tallerine (or my version of it, at any rate) is pasta, ground beef, tomatoes, corn, and spices mixed together and then baked with shredded cheddar cheese on top. It’s a simple and yet delicious combination of flavors, and is a staple in our house because it’s so easy and is an all-in-one dish. I’ll often make the meat part ahead of time and freeze it, so on busy days all I have to do is thaw it and make the pasta, and then stick it in the oven. This is a great recipe to have in your repertoire to pull out when you don’t know what else to make!
When I started this diet in September, I honestly thought I’d never have pasta again. Obviously, I wasn’t very knowledgeable about alternate pastas then, but that’s what I thought. One of the recipes I lamented leaving behind was this one that was taught to me by friends of ours who live in Naples, Italy. It’s a favorite of the entire family – my daughter requested it as her birthday meal this year! – so not having it in my repertoire of meals was a sad thing indeed.
But now! Now I know about the wide wonderful world of alternate pastas! And not icky chewy rice pasta, but ones that actually taste good. So I’m back in the saddle again!
I love this recipe because it’s delicious, but that’s not the best part. Here’s the best thing about this recipe: It can be made in half an hour.
That’s right, stove to table in 30 minutes. That’s the kind of recipe we can all use! And this is all you need to make it.
Today I went on a hunt for different flours and pastas, after my experience eating the whole wheat lasagna. I found success at the Amish General Store in the Trenton Farmer’s Market, and Big Bear health food store. If you don’t live around here, I don’t know where to tell you to look for these things, but try health food stores and places like Whole Foods. A lot of times Amish Markets have these sorts of things too, so if you happen to have one nearby you can try it out. Here’s what I found.
In our family, when it’s someone’s birthday they get to choose everything on the menu for their meal. This year my son asked for lasagna, broccoli, lime jello salad, pomegranate seeds, and lemon merengue pie. I know…a bit random, but at least it’s balanced!
And, really, do you blame him? Lasagna is one of life’s great treasures. Garfield got it right.