Braille Cooking

I’ve been talking a lot lately about the cooking classes at the Braille Institute where I’ve been assisting. Our students are low- to no-vision adults. Many are older adults, but some are my age (the far end of middle-age) and some are younger adults. Leslie, the teacher, coordinates the all cooking classes and teaches history and bridge to students as well.

Yesterday Leslie asked one of our students to show us how she makes spinach lasagna. Fortuna is from Italy. Her spinach lasagna is the best. We started with a bouquet of fresh spinach, which Fortuna cleaned, stemmed, and put into boiling water to cook just long enough to wilt but not lose its brilliant green color and fresh flavor.

She drained the spinach and pressed out the excess water, then added ricotta, freshly grated Parmesan, grated mozzarella, and a little salt. Leslie had purchased sheets of fresh pasta from Via Maestra 42, a local Italian cafe. Fortuna covered the layers of tender fresh pasta with marinara sauce, the ricotta mixture, and more of the grated cheeses.

She topped it off with more sauce and cheese before we put it into a 350 degree oven to melt the cheeses, cook the pasta, and meld all those wonderful flavors.

The recipe said it would take an hour, but Fortuna said it’s done when it begins to bubble. We were relieved to hear that because once the aroma began to escape from the oven we didn’t think we could wait a whole hour to taste it. We also noticed that a lot of people started dropping into the classroom to see how things were going.

And here it is, the World’s Best Spinach Lasagna.