This homey Sausage & Guinness Pot Pie recipe from Ken Haedrich's new cookbook of savory, one-dish delights, Dinner Pies, is the perfect choice to fill your stomach and warm your soul during these last days of winter.
Sausage & Guinness Pot Pie
Makes 4 to 6 Servings
I love the deep, rich flavor of this saucy pie. It’s the sort of hearty dish you’d expect to find in a good Irish pub, accompanied by slabs of grainy bread, a glass of stout and a round of cheer. Unlike a lot of pot pies with a cast of thousands, this one is all about the sausage and carrots, but if you can’t resist, then go ahead and add some peas.
1. Prepare the dough as instructed, dividing it into four to six pieces, depending on the size of the individual pot pie dishes you’ll be using (they should each have a capacity of 1 to 1¼ cups). The pastry will be used for the top crust—there is no bottom crust—so unless your dishes are more than, say, 5 inches wide, you can probably get six out of a single batch of dough. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1½ hours. While the dough chills, butter your pot pie dishes and set them aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large stovetop casserole over medium-high heat. Prick each of the sausages several times with a fork, then add to the pot. Brown for 5 minutes, turning once or twice. Transfer the brats to a plate and set them aside.
3. Add the onion and carrots to the pan. Cook, stirring often, for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and flour. Cook and stir for another 30 seconds, then stir in the beef broth and stout. Bring to a simmer and, as the liquid starts to thicken, stir in the chili sauce, tomato paste and brown sugar. Slice the brats thickly and add them to the pot. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, then stir in the Worcestershire sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. It will likely need at least ¼ teaspoon salt and perhaps even ½ teaspoon or more, depending on the saltiness of your beef broth.
4. Divide the filling evenly among the buttered dishes. Cool for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375°F.
5. Working with one piece of dough at a time (and leaving the others in the refrigerator), roll the pastry a little larger than the diameter of the pie dish. Drape the pastry over the filling and the sides of the dish. Poke the center of the pastry with a paring knife to make a steam vent. Repeat for the other pot pies. If you have a large enough baking sheet, line it with parchment paper or foil and bake them on the sheet. Or bake them directly on the center oven rack. Either way, they’ll be done in about 35 minutes, when the filling is good and bubbly and the pastry is golden. Transfer the dishes to a rack and cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Go-To Pie Dough
Makes enough for 1 (9 ½-inch) pie or tart shell)
It’s no mystery why I call this my “go-to” dough: It’s so versatile that I use it for perhaps four out of every five of the savory (and sweet) pies that I make. You can’t beat it for reliability, and it bakes up to a beautiful texture, perfectly balanced between flaky and short. This is the single crust recipe; the double crust version follows. The recipe calls for a food processor; to make the dough by hand, see the Note.
1. Put the butter and shortening cubes in a single layer on a flour-dusted plate, with the shortening off to one side of the plate by itself. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Combine the flour, cornstarch and salt in a bowl and refrigerate that mixture also. Pour the vinegar into a 1-cup glass measure. Add enough cold water to equal 1⁄3 cup liquid. Refrigerate.
2. When you’re ready to mix the pastry, transfer the flour mixture to a food processor. Pulse several times to mix. Remove the lid and scatter about 6 tablespoons of the butter—a little more than half of the total fat— over the dry mixture. Pulse the machine five times—that’s five 1-second pulses—followed by an uninterrupted 5-second run. Remove the lid and add the remaining fat. Give the machine six or seven 1-second pulses.
3. Remove the lid and loosen the mixture with a big fork; you’ll have a range of fat clods, most quite small but a few larger ones as well. With the lid off, drizzle about half of the liquid over the mixture. Replace the lid and give the machine three very quick, half-second pulses. Remove the lid, loosen the mixture with your fork and add the rest of the liquid. Pulse briefly three or four times, just like before. The mixture will still look crumbly, but the crumbs will be starting to get a little clumpier.
4. Transfer the contents of your processor to a large bowl, one large enough to get your hands in. Start rubbing the crumbs together, as if you were making a streusel topping—what you’re doing is redistributing the butter and moisture without overworking the dough. (Note: If your dough mixture came out of the food processor more clumpy than crumb-like, don’t worry. Just pack it together like a snowball, knead it very gently two or three times and proceed to step 5.) You can accomplish the same thing by “smearing” the crumbs down the sides of the bowl with your fingers. When the dough starts to gather in large clumps, pack it like a snowball and knead gently, three or four times, on a lightly floured surface.
5. Put the dough on a long piece of plastic wrap and flatten it into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 ½ to 2 hours; overnight is fine. (You can also slip the wrapped dough into a gallon-size plastic freezer bag and freeze it for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.)
To make the dough by hand, chill all of your ingredients as specified in step 1, but increase the flour to 1½ cups plus 1½ tablespoons. Remove the butter and shortening from the refrigerator 5 to 8 minutes before mixing; it should have a little “give” to it when squeezed between your fingers. Add about 6 tablespoons of the butter to your dry mixture; toss to coat with flour. Using your pastry blender, cut in the butter until the largest pieces of fat are pea-size. Add the remaining fat, toss to coat and cut that in. The entire mixture should look like it has been “touched” by the fat and nothing should be larger than pea-size. Pour half of your liquid down around the sides of the bowl, but not in any one spot. Mix well with a large fork, moving the mixture in from the sides and up from the bottom. Repeat with the remaining liquid, but add the last few teaspoons only if needed. Rub and smear the crumbs as specified in step 4 until a dough starts to form. Pack the dough and knead gently a couple of times. Flatten into a disk, then wrap and refrigerate.
You should have seen this list of 2016's most anticipated romance novels before I pared it down! It was nearly impossible to limit myself, but these are the 15 books this romance editor is most excited about reading this year.
The Friends We Keep by Susan Mallery (Feb 23)
Three friends deal with the pains of love and loss in Mallery’s latest trip to Mischief Bay. Gabby must contend with the chaos of her crowded home life, Hayley is desperate to become pregnant despite the cost and risks, and Nicole is fresh off a divorce and skeptical about love. As they turn to each other with their challenges, their friendships grow stronger.
One with You: A Crossfire Novel by Sylvia Day (April 5)
Day closes her Crossfire quintet with the final chapter in the tumultuous love story of the tortured Gideon Cross and Eva Tramell, two broken people who find strength in each other’s love. If you enjoyed Fifty Shades but haven’t discovered the Crossfire series yet, Day's books are a perfect follow-up.
What We Find by Robyn Carr (April 5)
Carr starts a new series with the story of Maggie Sullivan, who leaves behind her high-stress job as a neurosurgeon and heads to Sullivan’s Crossing, her family’s charming hideaway in rural Colorado. She’s happy to live the simple life, but when a mysterious hiker shows up and offers to lend a hand, she can’t turn him away. But both are harboring pain from the past that may threaten to tear their budding relationship apart.
The Obsession by Nora Roberts (April 12)
Has Nora Roberts ever not been on a "most anticipated" romance list? I highly doubt it. The romance master offers up a standalone of romantic suspense à la The Liar with the story of Naomi Bowes. The daughter of an infamous murderer, Naomi has created an entirely new identity that depends on solitude. But Xander Keaton seems determined to break down her walls—walls that should perhaps stay standing.
Dirty: A Dive Bar Novel by Kylie Scott (April 19)
The first in Scott’s new Dive Bar series follows a brokenhearted bride who discovers her groom is having an affair (with his best man, no less) on her wedding day and the scruffy bartender who offers her a (broad) shoulder to cry on. He’s not her usual, strait-laced type, but perhaps it’s time to let loose.
The Girl from Summer Hill by Jude Deveraux (May 3)
Deveraux kicks off her Summer Hill series with a fresh take on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Casey Reddick is a busy chef who leaves it all behind to clear her head in Summer Hill, Virginia, but any head-clearing hopes fly out the window when Hollywood hunk Tate Landers comes to town, and the two are cast as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in a stage adaptation of Austen’s novel.
Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan (May 31)
Known for her charming and sexy romances, Morgan rings in a new contemporary trilogy with this novel set in New York City. Paige Walker lands her dream job in Manhattan as an event planner—and promptly loses it. So when her brother’s friend, whom she’s always had a crush on, offers to help her start her own company, she can’t say no, even though he’s a serious distraction.
Devil and the Deep by Julie Ann Walker (July 5)
Walker started the Deep Six series last July with Hell or High Water, our Top Pick in romance for the month, so we're delighted that the second book is coming this summer! The series follows a band of former SEALs in their new adventures as treasure hunters who can't seem to avoid getting sucked into intrigue. The latest book picks up with Bran Pallidino and the socialite who ends up in his arms.
The Angels' Share by J.R. Ward (Jul 26)
We’ve been waiting for this one with bated (bourbon-laced?) breath! Ward continues her saga of the Bradford family, who are firmly entrenched in Kentucky high society thanks to their enormously successful bourbon business. But when the Bradford patriarch is murdered, the family and their estate is thrown into turmoil, and the eldest, bitter brother Edward finds himself in the middle of the chaos.
Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn (March 29)
Quinn continues her beloved Bridgerton series in this tale of former childhood playmates who absolutely loathe each other—or do they? Despite a lifetime of resentment toward each other, Miss Billie Bridgerton and George Rokesby cannot deny the sparks that unwittingly fly when they’re together. Expect Quinn’s signature humor and wit in this Regency romance!
'Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick (April 19)
Calista Langley is an elite matchmaker for wealthy Victorian souls in London, but things get creepy when someone begins sending her memento mori carved with her initials. Enter crime writer Trent Hastings, who may have the key to stopping Calista’s stalker before it’s too late.
Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas (May 31)
Kleypas continues the series she kicked off last year with Cold-Hearted Rake in this new Victorian romance. Rhys Winterborne is known for his ruthless business practices, and that unyielding spirit carries over into courting as well. He’s determined to win the hand of the shy Lady Helen Ravenel—no matter what it takes.
Once a Soldier by Mary Jo Putney (June 28)
Putney starts her new Regency series, Rogues Redeemed, with this tale of a dedicated soldier and a woman with a warrior's heart. Athena Markham is convinced and accepting of the fact that she is far too independent and fierce to be anyone’s wife. However, when she meets the brave soldier Will Masterson, she realizes she may have found her soul mate.
Illusion Town by Jayne Castle (July 26)
Castle (aka Jayne Ann Krentz aka Amanda Quick) starts a new series in her futuristic desert world of Harmony in this novel. Hannah West wakes up with a wedding band and absolutely no memory of the wedding or the groom. Unfortunately, the groom can’t provide any answers, because he can’t remember the wedding, either. They only know they’re on the run together—but from what?
Allegiance of Honor (Psy/Changelings) by Nalini Singh (June 14)
What’s not to love about a new book from the lovely Singh? She continues her Psy/Changelings series with the 15th book, which follows the birth of a new era in Singh’s elaborate paranormal world.
The Sea King by C. L. Wilson (July 15)
OK, I will admit that I have never read a book by C.L. Wilson, but her fantasy romance novels have made the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. This is making my own list because its cover is insane, the hero’s name is Dilys Merimydion, and it's fabulous.
What romance novels are you most excited about reading this year?
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The idyllic town of Littlefield, Massachusetts, is home to 4 yoga studios, 6 dog groomers and 1,146 psychotherapists. Littlefield's citizens appear to be the picture of the American ideal, but inside their well-maintained homes, of course, things are anything but ideal. Margaret is cheating on her husband with a lonely novelist. Margaret's teenage daughter is miserable at school. Mrs. Beale despises the indignities of aging and hates her daughter. And then there's the fact that dogs are dying all over town, victims of an unknown poisoner. Berne, who won the Orange Prize for her novel A Crime in the Neighborhood and made the longlist for the Baileys Prize with this novel, has written an incredibly entertaining peek into the imperfect lives led in a perfect suburban town.
Why were the suburbs felt to be safe? They seemed more unsettling, at least at night, than any Chicago neighborhood, where at least there were streetlights. Never trust a place without sidewalks, her mother always said.
One night Dr. Watkins passed a parked car, and there was Margaret Downing, kissing a man who was not her husband.
The following week, out with Aggie later than usual after typing up her notes, Dr. Watkins spotted Bill Downing in a dark overcoat and a black wool cap on Ballard Street. He was standing with his big black dog in front of the Melman house, just beyond the reach of yellow light thrown by their windows. But his face was visible to Dr. Watkins as she approached in the darkness—and on it she perceived a look of such monstrous suffering, as if it were not a man who stood there but something that had consumed the man and now occupied his body. A look of wooden self-consciousness, fraudulence, vacancy, a kind of flat-line anguish that was almost frightening. Even when he turned, startled, to say good evening to her, that look did not quite leave his face.
What are you reading this week?
Two acclaimed memoirs, a Nick Hornby novel and a sizzling psychological thriller are available in new paperback editions today:
By George Hodgman
Penguin • $17 • ISBN 9780143107880
A publishing industry veteran leaves New York to care for his aging mother in tiny Paris, Missouri, in this warm and wise memoir about family secrets and finding forgiveness.
Publishing: A Writer's Memoir
By Gail Godwin
Bloomsbury • $16 • ISBN 9781620408254
The novelist and three-time finalist for the National Book Award reflects on her 45-year career as a writer, from her early struggles to find her voice to the often frustrating ups-and-downs of the publishing business.
By Nick Hornby
Riverhead • $16 • ISBN 9781101983355
In his engaging seventh novel, the author of High Fidelity and About a Boy chronicles a beauty queen's rise to TV stardom in 1960s London.
By Mary Kubica
Mira • $15.99 • ISBN 9780778318743
When a Chicago woman offers shelter to a homeless teen and her baby, her generous act sets the stage for a tense family drama in this powerful followup to Kubica's bestselling debut, The Good Girl.
Heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and pink stuffed animals are on shelves everywhere, which means Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. Want to get into the lovey-dovey spirit but not a fan of Hallmark variety romance? We've put together a list of our favorite offbeat love stories that will make you feel all of the feelings.
Love in Lowercase by Francesc Miralles
Linguistics professor Samuel is a creature of habit and carefully structured routine. His lone wolf tendencies don't leave him much room for socialization—that is, until a cat wanders into his Barcelona apartment and opens his heart. When he begins taking chances and seeking out a little adventure, he meets a beautiful and mysterious woman named Gabriella who just may be his soulmate.
The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth
An assisted-living facility doesn't exactly stand out as a location that's primed for romance. But Sally Hepworth's surprising and poignant story about 38-year-old Alzheimer patient Anna and her relationship with Luke, a fellow resident at Rosalind House, manages to be heartbreaking and tragic, yet also incredibly romantic and hopeful.
Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
Kent Haruf's final novel may be slim, but it is one of those rare, soul-filling stories that will stay with you long after the final page is turned. Addie and Louis are neighbors, and they have a lot in common: They're both widowed, their children are all grown up and settled far from home, and their days are filled with quiet—often lonely—routine. But when Addie proposes that they start sleeping together—just sleeping, just enjoying the company of another person—an amazing late-life love is forged.
The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie
Veblen is a 30-year-old nonconformist who wears baggy boys' clothing and often chats with a squirrel. She has also fallen in love with Paul, a gifted young neurologist who's busily working on a device used to perform emergency craniotomies. This witty, off-the-wall novel features some of the quirkiest characters in recent memory, along with hilariously placed photographic interludes, and its focus on the importance of love and family makes it one of the most singular reads you'll find this year.
All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani
Bestselling author Trigiani (The Shoemaker's Wife) immerses readers in the lush splendor of Hollywood's Golden Age in her latest novel, All the Stars in the Heavens. This sweeping saga follows famous starlet Loretta Young's secretary Alda as she finds her footing in the industry, and—you guessed it—falls in love with a scenic painter during a film shoot. Clark Gable just happens to be working on the same set, and as soon as the infamous ladies' man sets his eyes on Loretta, sparks fly between them as well, but these relationships don't escape the pitfalls of the era's penchant for excess.
The Lovers by Rod Nordland
New York Times correspondent Rod Nordland's absorbing account of a young, star-crossed couple in the mountains of Afghanistan could be ripped straight from the pages of Shakespeare. Striking Zakia and introverted Ali grew up in neighboring but opposing tribes. After the two defy cultural expectations by falling in love, their families vow to do whatever it takes to restore their honor—even if it means resorting to violence. Nordland takes readers along on a pulse-pounding true-life crusade to find this couple a safe haven, and he weaves in brilliant commentary on the cultural, social and ethical complexities of the region.
Two Across by Jeff Bartsch
For fans of the brainy, hyper-stylized love stories from the minds of Woody Allen and Sofia Coppola, Jeff Bartsch's debut novel is a perfect fit. During the 1960 National Spelling Bee, 15-year-old rivals Vera and Stanley leave the competition in a tie. Each year, they reunite at the competition, and each year, the two grow closer together. In their final year at the competition, Stanley proposes a money-making scheme to Vera: Get married, split the profits from the wedding gifts and pursue their separate paths.
I Take You by Eliza Kennedy
Lily Wilder is about to marry the perfect man, but why does she have cold feet? She loves Will, but she also loves sex outside of the normal monogamous boundaries, and she's not sure if she's prepared, or capable, of giving up on her lifestyle.
Could there be a better group of people to query about love than romance authors? We asked the five authors featured in this month's romance column—and the columnist herself!—to tell us one thing they've learned about love from writing romance novels.
Virginia Kantra, author of our February Top Pick in Romance, Carolina Dreaming
Writing romance forces me to pay attention—to a look, a touch, a moment. It awakens all of my senses, including a sense of appreciation for that one special person in my own life. You know the one, that guy who accepts you at your worst and challenges you to be your best—because the heroines of romance novels don't stumble into perfect relationships. At least mine don't. They have to fight for love. They have to negotiate terms. They have to earn their happy endings. And I think that's a great lesson for all of us.
Eloisa James, author of My American Duchess
Over the years, my characters have taught me a lot about love. One of the secrets to a good romance is coming up with such a profound conflict that the author herself has trouble imagining a happy ending. I’ve begun many novels with that anxious thought . . . and yet by the time I reach the last page, my couple has fought tooth and nail, life and death, to be together. No matter how huge the obstacles, if two people truly love each other, they will make it work!
Jodi Thomas, author of Rustler’s Moon
I discovered that both in life and in fiction, it’s fun to add humor. Funny things happen between couples that bring them closer together. To me there is nothing sexier than a hero who can laugh at himself. So I’m wishing you all much love and laughter this Valentine’s Day.
Dani Pettrey, author of Cold Shot
In writing romantic suspense, I've learned that love is stronger than any opposition. In the midst of the worst circumstances, in the darkest of times, in two weary and heartbroken souls, love can bloom. Love finds a way. It repairs, renews and restores. It brings hope where there was none. It brings happiness despite despair. It overcomes and endures.
Nicole Jordan, author of The Art of Taming a Rake
Boy, an unfair question since there are so many! My top four things I’ve learned:
Christie Ridgway, BookPage's romance columnist and author of the Cabin Fever series
What I've learned from reading, writing and reviewing romance is how much people believe in the enduring power of love. I never grow tired of a story about two people overcoming their flaws and insecurities in order to put their hearts on the table and trust in a bright future together. The popularity of the genre only supports what I know: that the inherent optimism of a romance novel resonates with readers and uplifts and energizes them.
Thank you, authors!
(Virginia Kantra’s author photo by Michael Ritchey, Nicole Jordan's author photo by Debra MacFarlane)
In Charlie Jane Anders' All the Birds in the Sky, a tech whiz and a witch reconnect after a long-ago falling out in order to use their powers for the good of humanity. Our reviewer writes, "Anders adeptly twines magic, surrealism, technological innovation and machinery into a quirky story that, at its base, is about searching for common ground in a world of differences." (Read the review.)
We asked Anders to tell us about a few books she's been reading lately.
Trekonomics by Manu Saadia
“Star Trek” contains many thrilling inventions, from the transporter to the replicator. But Saadia, who works with tech startups in Los Angeles, argues that this series' most important and thrilling innovation is its economic system. Not only does Starfleet exist in a society that has gotten rid of scarcity and deprivation, but it's a future without money and without any economic imperatives as we think of them. But what does that actually mean? Saadia digs into the nitty-gritty of this utopian future, and it's utterly fascinating, as Mr. Spock would say. I went to a panel about the book at New York Comic Con, featuring Saadia alongside Paul Krugman and io9 founder Annalee Newitz, and Saadia asked me to look at an early copy of the book. It's keeping me pretty jazzed so far.
Pretty Much Dead by Daphne Gottlieb
Gottlieb has been one of the most thrilling voices in San Francisco's spoken word and literary scenes over the past dozen years or so, writing poetry and short fiction that burst with emotion along with keen observations about power, self-destruction, sex and salvation. (Full disclosure: She's also a friend of mine.) But her latest collection of stories is a whole new level of indispensible. For the past several years, Gottlieb has also been working as a social worker with various agencies catering to the homeless in San Francisco. She's been right there on the front lines, helping the city's most vulnerable people in the middle of gentrification and displacement. Pretty Much Dead is a collection of incredibly potent stories about poverty, but also about love and desire, drawing on the real-life stories she's encountered. The result feels like a kick in the teeth, but also hits you with incredible moments of beauty and transformation.
Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen
This supernatural Western is just so exciting, on so many levels. The plot moves at a frenetic speed, racing through plot twist after plot twist like Pac-Man eating dots, but meanwhile Bowen somehow packs in a ton of character development and also delves into some incredibly deep themes about identity and personhood. Somehow, she's managed to create a page-turning introspective thriller. Nettie Lonesome is a mixed-race girl who's stuck living on a tiny farm in the middle nowhere where her adoptive parents treat her like a virtual slave—until she meets a vampire, and her world suddenly becomes much bigger and weirder than she could ever have imagined. And that's just the first few pages. You should discover this one for yourself. I told my friend about Wake of Vultures—and the next time I talked to her, a day later, she'd already burned through it and wanted more.
Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson
On the surface, this is sort of a sword-and-sorcery novel in the grand tradition of Fritz Leiber and countless others. A band of mercenaries gets hired to protect a caravan of merchants who are bringing their goods to the far-off city of Olorum, but their route goes through the Wildeeps, a scary, magical place where terrifying monsters lurk. And there's only one safe road through, except that it's not always safe. But once you delve below the surface, this action-packed novella is also about what it's like to be a professional grunt—not a heroic champion, just a workaday soldier—and the relationships that spring up. It's also about one unusual relationship, in particular. And it's about just how far the main character Demane (the titular Sorcerer) will go to save his friends. There's a lot going on here, but there's also awesome swordplay.
Thank you, Charlie Jane!
(Author photo by Tristan Crane)
Quick and easy Lasagna Roll-Ups from Ree Drummond's The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime, our January Top Pick in cookbooks, are perfect for those nights when you want a hearty meal that doesn't require much prep or hassle.
MAKES 20 ROLL-UPS, OR 5 LOAF PANS
Lasagna roll-ups are so perfectly convenient and handy, particularly for smaller households, because they can be easily assembled in small loaf pans and you can just grab the amount you need rather than bake off a huge pan at once. I can never have enough of these in the freezer!
1. Boil the lasagna noodles in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water to cool and lay flat on a sheet of foil. Set aside.
2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, bell pepper and garlic and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until the vegetables are starting to soften.
3. Remove the veggie mixture from the pan. Add the ground beef to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s totally browned. Drain the excess fat and add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, ½ teaspoon of the salt, ½ teaspoon of the pepper and the veggie mixture. Stir to combine. Let the mixture simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
4. To make the filling, combine the ricotta, ½ cup of the mozzarella, ¾ cup of the Parmesan, the eggs, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper, 3 tablespoons of the parsley and 3 tablespoons of the basil. Stir to combine.
5. To assemble, spoon a thin layer of sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan OR five 6-inch disposable foil loaf pans. Spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of the ricotta filling on each noodle and roll them up so that the cheese is on the inside of the roll. Lay them sideways in the pans (four will fit in each loaf pan, or you can fill a 9 x 13-inch pan with the roll-ups). Top evenly with the remaining sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan.
6. Follow the instructions to freeze below. If you’re making the roll-ups right away, preheat the oven to 375°F, place the pan(s) on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
7. Serve with salad and a hunk of bread. Convenient and wonderfully good!
Cover the unbaked pans tightly with heavy foil and freeze for up to 4 months.
To bake the roll-ups, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the pans on a baking sheet and bake the foil-covered pans for 1 hour 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes more, until hot and bubbly.
Thaw the pans in the refrigerator for 24 to 36 hours, until completely thawed.
Bake according to the recipe instructions.
Emma Straub is quickly making a name for herself as an author who can deftly toe the line between literary and popular writing—her books are easy to breeze through, but there's also food for thought for the discerning reader. Her 2014 novel, The Vacationers, was one of the biggest beach reads of the year, and we think the same might be said a few months from now about novel #3, Modern Lovers, which will be published on May 31 by Riverhead Books.
Elizabeth, Andrew and Zoe have been friends ever since college, when they were 3/4 of a moderately successful rock band. Now in their 50s, they've settled in Brooklyn with families and real jobs, but it's not until their own children leave for school (and start sleeping together) that the trio is forced to confront the "shock of middle age"—and the truth about what happened to the fourth member of their group.