Thank you to Match Point Publishing for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of They Have Jesus, We Have Lasagna in exchange for an honest review.
As the title of Patrick Resetar’s memoir They Have Jesus, We Have Lasagna suggests, we all have a devotion to something, be it a deity or noodles. In his debut memoir, Resetar explores his family’s connections to religion as non-practicing Catholics, and their religious connections to traditions such as horse-racing, football, and family meals.
Taking place in a small town in the coal country of Pennsylvania, Resetar’s memoir deals with vices, poverty, and family trauma. While each essay is deeply personal and visceral in its depiction of abuse and addiction, the essays themselves become redundant. Many of these essays could hold their own in a literary magazine, offering insightful commentary on the modern working class family, though they fail to work together and build upon one another as a memoir.
What carries this memoir through is its dynamic scenes, vibrant characters, and the dry humour sprinkled throughout. While Resetar lacks some refinement and maturity as a longform writer, his natural talent is undeniable. With some learning and a heavy-handed editor, a comeback sophomore work is not out of the question.
How could I not pair a lasagna recipe with this book? But this is lasagna with a twist! Instead of all the pesky layering traditional lasagna calls for, I’m bringing together all the best qualities of a good lasagna (chewy noodles, flavorful sauce, cheesy goodness, and bits of juicy meat) in a one-pot soup! The most you have to do for this lasagna is chop up some onions, mince garlic, and stir.
Don’t be deceived! Even though this dish is minimal effort, it’s maximum flavor!
A dinner so delicious, you’ll think it’s from heaven!
- 1 lbs Italian sausage
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 14 oz jars diced tomatoes
- 1 6 oz jar tomato paste
- ½ box of lasagna noodles, broken up into about 1 inch pieces
- Ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan for topping
- Brown sausage in a large pot with the onions. When I say large pot, I mean HUGE! We’re making a lot of soup in this bad boy.
- When sausage is about halfway cooked, add garlic.
- After sausage if fully browned, drain fat from the pot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot over medium heat and stir. Cover the pot, uncovering every few minutes to stir. Make sure nothing sticks to the bottom!
- Allow contents to cook until noodles are al dente.
- Scoop into bowls and top with ricotta, mozzarella, and/or parmesan! Serve warm.