Skip to main content

Day 8 in Chile - Jan 4. 2011 - La Trattoria de Juanca

We only had three days left in Chile and I didn't want to leave.  This had been really the best vacation I have ever been on and it was because of the wonderful people we met and the friendships we created.  I will plug  Youth Exchange Programs a bit.  Monique, who I blogged about in Day 1 and Day 2 was an exchange student at my parent's house twenty years ago (because my sister was an exchange student in Rio the year before and the two of them became great friends) and we still remain so close.  I probably have seen Monique at least 6 times in 20 years and we keep in touch on email always.  And regarding our situation with Juan.  I had no idea what to expect when we opened our home to him in 2008.  It turned out to be a great experience and obviously created a lasting friendship, and since our trip, a friendship not only with him but his entire family.  All three of my sisters went on exchange with the Rotary.  Cathy to Brazil, Ruth to France and Sara to Argentina  - and they all loved it.  They are all now multi-lingual, have lasting memories, friendships and an appreciation of the whole planet and all its diversity.  Link to -->>  Rotary Youth Exchange

On the itinerary for Day 8 was shopping in Santiago at a mall.  We ate lunch and then drove to the city.  I bought another beach wrap - I can't remember the name for it in Spanish.  And I bought a few gifts for Veronica and the family.  We stayed a couple of hours and then drove back to Talegante.  I had to make the meal so I wanted to make sure I had time to assemble the lasagna and make the salad and bread.  At 7:00 Juan Carlos, Veronica, Emelia and Sebestian had to meet at a Golf Club in Talegante to see about renting it for their wedding reception.  They asked Ron and I to go with them.  I decided I had better stay to make the food or we may not be eating.  Ron did go along with them.  While they were gone, the kids and I made the food.  Juan and Rachel and Will assembled the lasagna, Coke made the garlic bread and Rachel and I made the Caesar salad.  The others did not return until I think 9:30, but timing was good as everything was ready to eat when they arrived.  I was cooking in a convection oven and am not used to the cooking times and it ended up taking longer than the normal hour.  I guess Ron had fun at the Golf Club and was have a few piscos at the bar while they were negotiating with the caterers. Nino and Loly also came over for dinner; it was their 53rd wedding anniversary that day. 

Loly had made (for a previous party) red bibs that said 'La Trattoria de Juanca' and we all wore them.  It was perfect for our Italian dinner.  Everyone seemed to like my lasagna.  I liked being able to cook for all of them as they had done so much for us.  After the late dinner, everyone went to bed except for Ron and I - we sat up and talked for a while on the patio about how we were enjoying our trip and that we knew soon we would have to go back home to the cold and snow.

This lasagna recipe is the one I grew up and made by my Grandma and also my Mom, slightly modified by me over the last 20 years.  There are many many variations of lasagna in the world (probably one for every Italian cook) but this is my very favorite.

Lasagna with Bolognese Sauce:

  • Bolognese Sauce (see recipe from 'Day 7 in Chile' Posting)
  • 2-3 boxes Lasagna noodles (use whole wheat for more healthy version).  Cook according to package directions
  • 4C shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 C Grated Parmesan cheese and some additional for the topping
  • 8 oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 8 oz of melty yellow cheese (yes, it's - gasp! - Velveeta)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Prepare lasagna noodles according to package directions.  Rinse and leave in pot with cool water.
Heat up sauce on stove if it was stored in refrigerator.  Add some water if too thick.
Prepare 2-3 rectangular lasagna pans (depending on how many layers you want) by spooning some sauce in the bottom to prevent noodles from sticking.
Mix together mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and ricotta cheese in a bowl
Cut the Velveeta in to thin slices
Layer in the pans, evenly:   1)  Noodles, 2) cheese mixture, 3) Velveeta, 4) sauce.
Repeat 3-5 layers in each pan.  For the last layer use only noodles and extra sauce and cover with Parmesan cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and heat until warmed through, approx one hour.
Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting. Mange!

Making Lasagna
Celebrating 53rd Anniversary

Enjoying our Italian Meal