You haven’t heard from me in quite a while, I know, but you certainly know me from the Zodiac Mysteries. I manage The Mystic Eye occult bookshop in San Francisco owned by my good friend Gale Hymson. I’m not involved in every crime that our friend, astrologer Julia Bonatti, solves, but I am proud to say, you can find me in every book of the series. Julia does great on her own but just in case she needs help, we have her back, believe me.
Right now, things are very calm and I’m so relieved that life has returned to a normal pace -- at least until the next client of Julia’s drags her into solving another murder.
That’s why I thought this would be a perfect time to plan a lovely dinner for my two best friends. I’d like to serve homemade lasagna with crispy Italian bread and red wine. How does that sound? Yummy? I agree, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
First, it’s important to make homemade sauce. You can even do this with canned goods. A couple of large cans of Italian crushed tomatoes and a couple of small cans of Italian brand tomato paste. Add a few cloves of crushed garlic, a chopped onion and lots of basil and oregano. If you’d like meat in your sauce, break up a pound of ground beef or even ground turkey.
Julia’s grandmother has a great trick. She makes braciole in her sauce. She pounds a flank steak flat, then mixes breadcrumbs, a hard cheese, like Parmesan, with olive oil, a little wine and parsley. She covers the steak with the mixture, rolls it up and ties it with string, and then drops it into the simmering sauce. The trick is to cook the sauce long and slow, at least four hours. Crockpots are great for this!
Then I cook the pasta in boiling water, slice up carrots and zucchini, chop an onion, layer on spinach between the layers of pasta and make sure there’s plenty of cheese in each layer. I like mozzarella best. Oh, make sure you sprinkle lots of basil (fresh if you have it) and oregano on each layer. Then I bake the whole tray for about an hour and voila, it’s ready. I know the girls will really like it!
Hopefully things will stay calm at The Mystic Eyes for a while. Well . . . at least until the next book comes out and Julia’s busy with another mystery to solve.
Oh, before I forget, our author, Connie di Marco, is giving away two copies of the large print edition of Tail of the Dragon. Isn't that a beautiful cover? If you like to read in large print, or know someone who does, just send Connie an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sorry, there are only two books to give away, so first come, first served.
And if you’d like to visit our author, you can find her at her website, at FB or Twitter @askzodia. Happy reading and happy cooking!