Look Who’s Cooking: Making a marriage, one meal at a time

  • Amy and Dave Moscaritolo make lasagna together with handmade pasta and sauce in their Greenfield home. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Amy and Dave Moscaritolo make lasagna together with homemade pasta and sauce in their Greenfield home. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Amy and Dave Moscaritolo make lasagna together with handmade pasta and sauce in their Greenfield home. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Amy and Dave Moscaritolo make lasagna, a version of which they call Moscaritolasagna, with homemade pasta and sauce in their Greenfield home. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Moscaritolasagna can easily become a vegetarian dish by substituting a vegetable marinara sauce for the meat sauce, and diced vegetables and spinach for the meat. For the Recorder/Roxann Wedegartner

  • WEDEGARTNER

For the Recorder
Published: 2/19/2019 12:17:50 PM

When they were single, Dave was a divorced father and Amy was a widow of about three years. They met fortuitously while walking their dogs in the same Greenfield neighborhood. He had a Standard Poodle named Annabelle and she had two Golden Retrievers, Tucker and Gidget.

They wouldn’t say it was love at first sight, but both of them being dog lovers was a big deal. Once they began dating, they discovered they also liked to cook together, which experts say can be a recipe for a strong relationship.

Dave and Amy Moscaritolo have been married for five years this month. Dave Moscaritolo is known locally as a former member of the Greenfield Planning Board and former president of the Franklin County Beekeepers Association, while Amy is a member of the Greenfield Community College board of trustees.

The couple attests to the fact that cooking together has strengthened their bond and lightened the cooking load.

Roxann: When did you discover that you liked to cook together?

Amy: It was early in our relationship. I remember because I did a lobster roast every summer at my house and I asked Dave if he knew how to cook lobsters. He did, so I asked him if he’d be the lobster cook at the party. He agreed.

Dave: And I never saw her during the whole party until the end. Pretty sneaky, huh?

AM: Well, I was the “Go For” that whole time.

DM: From then on, we’d cook together three or four times a week. More so than we do now.

AM: Dave works at home and I don’t. A lot of the time when I come home from work dinner is already made.

RW: When did each of you learn to cook?

DM: I learned from both of my grandmothers when I was really young. After school, I’d go to my grandmother on my mom’s side almost every day. She taught me two things: how to play cards and how to cook. I’m pretty good at both.

My father’s mother was from Italy and a fantastic cook. She would have a pot of sauce on the stove every single day, cooking for 24 hours. We knew to never ask what was in it. We were just supposed to eat it.

AM: That’s something we share in common. I learned from both of my grandmothers, too. It’s basically in my DNA and goes back as far as I can remember.

They were both Slovak and knew each other as children before they came here. I’m the baker in this house and David is the meal maker. But we both know how to make pasta. I make spaetzle from an old recipe of my grandmothers,’ and he makes pasta from an old recipe.

DM: I’d say we both like to try new things, too.

AM: Yeah, that’s huge. We’ll even try things that the other one doesn’t particularly like. I like cauliflower, Dave not so much. But he tried it and likes it a lot more now.

RW: So how do you divide up the work? Or do you?

DM: Well, we both know what each other’s strengths are and we go with that. If Amy’s baking, then I’m the helper. If I’m cooking, then she’s the helper.

AM: I’d say that’s what makes it work. There’s one thing that is very important to me and goes back to my mother and grandmother, and that’s clean as you cook. I absolutely don’t want any dirty pots and pans at the end when we’re finished cooking. So someone also has to be cleaning as we go along.

RW: So what are we having today and who is doing what?

AM: We’re having meat lasagna. He made the sauce and I’m making the homemade pasta. You could easily make this vegetarian by substituting a vegetable marinara sauce for the meat sauce, and diced vegetables and spinach for the meat.

RW: You have this great KitchenAid mixer with a pasta attachment. That must be a big help.

DM: It’s perfect for making pasta. My cousins were teasing me when they saw it, saying our grandmothers would be horrified that we weren’t making it the old-fashioned way. I disagreed. I think they’d love how easy it is.

I remember my grandmother used to have pasta laying out on the spare bed drying. There was no other place to put it when you were making a lot of it. And she made a lot of it.

RW: And now you have these beautiful racks to put it on.

AM: We put them to good use. But you could dry the pasta on a long baking sheet that’s been dusted with flour. Or I’ve even seen them draped over the back of a chair on a clean dishtowel.

Moscaritolasagna

Meat sauce ingredients:

1¼ lb. ground meatloaf mix (beef, pork, veal)

1 medium vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 T basil

1 T oregano

28 oz. can tomato puree

14 oz. can diced tomato

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground pepper

Preheat the over to 375 degrees.

Cook the meat mixture in a saucepan or frying pan until it’s no longer pink. Add the onion and cook until it’s translucent.

Add the garlic and cook for another one to two minutes. Add the basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for another five minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Add the puree and diced tomatoes (with liquid). Add the sugar and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

Pasta ingredients:

1½ cups Semolina Pasta Flour

½ tsp. salt

2 eggs, beaten

2 T water

2 T olive oil

Combine the Semolina Pasta Flour, salt, beaten eggs, water and oil. Mix to make a stiff dough. Knead until the dough is elastic.

Wrap the dough in plastic or beeswax wrap and refrigerate it for 20 to 30 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, press the dough to approximately 1 inch thick, then cut it into eight pieces. Flatten each piece into a rectangle.

Using a pasta machine (the Moscaritolos use the pasta attachment for a KitchenAid stand mixer) roll the dough into lasagna noodle strips, getting progressively thinner. Hang each piece until you’re ready to assemble the lasagna.

Lasagna preparation ingredients:

15 oz. container of ricotta cheese

16 oz. bag grated mozzarella cheese

8 oz. log of fresh mozzarella

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Spray a 9-inch by 13-inch glass pan with olive oil.

To assemble the lasagna, spoon a thin layer of sauce into the pan. Lay in enough noodles to create a layer.

Add more sauce, enough to cover the noodles. Spoon about one-third of the ricotta onto the sauce and spread a bit. Sprinkle on about one-quarter of the grated mozzarella and about one-quarter of the parmesan.

Repeat two more times, ending with sauce on the top. Top with fresh mozzarella slices, along with the rest of the grated mozzarella and parmesan.

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the lasagna is bubbling and slightly browned on the top. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.

In the “Look Who’s Cooking!” monthly column, Roxann interviews and shares the recipes of people from around Franklin County who may be well-known in their professional or political lives, but not necessarily for their lives as passionate cooks, bakers or all-around foodies.




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