I’m going to bet that you savvy Cook the Vineyard readers have your Thanksgiving menus – or plans – all worked out at this point. But if you’re scrambling for a last-minute recipe, our Thanksgiving Recipe Collection is there for you. And if you can’t find something or have a cooking question, feel free to email us today. Also, while the time for Thanksgiving pre-orders has passed at most local food retailers, you can still pick up pies at Pie Chicks and Morning Glory Farm, and a la carte items at some spots, including Black Sheep and The Larder.

I thought it would be more fun to look ahead today, and I’m happy to say I have a real gem for you. It’s a recipe that you’ll definitely want to add to your permanent repertoire, but first you’ll want to try it out over the holidays — maybe as soon as this weekend. It’s Lasagna Bolognese from Katie Leaird, our resident Italian pasta expert (and handmade pasta artisan), and the authentic recipe is based on one she learned in culinary school in Emilia Romagna.

Susie Middleton

There are two secrets to Lasagna Bolognese, and they complement each other. The first is a robust meat sauce, a true Bolognese sauce that’s high on flavor, low on tomatoey-ness. The second is béchamel instead of ricotta, and it’s a game changer. Katie writes:

"Béchamel (besciamella in Italian) is a thick white sauce made from milk, butter, and flour. It gives lasagna its signature rich, velvety texture that ties the whole dish together. In my opinion, substituting ricotta for béchamel is the worst thing that can happen to lasagna. It makes it runny, grainy, and waters down the flavor."

I made the Lasagna Bolognese this weekend, and it was the most elegant, silky, well-integrated and flavorful lasagna I’ve ever had. No more ricotta lasagna for me!

I like that this recipe is made in an 8-inch square baking pan, which fits three layers of everything perfectly. And two of the oven-ready (no boil) noodles (I used Barilla) fit snuggly side by side for the pasta layers. Ideally, your dish would be slightly deeper — anything just shy of 2 inches or deeper — than the one I used (above), which was closer to 1 1/2-inches deep. My husband and I ate a third of this the first night and shared the rest with my stepson the next, so you can serve 4 to 6 with this size.

Susie Middleton

While we’re talking about béchamel, I’m reminded of Jessica B. Harris’ Spicy Three-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese recipe, which I stumbled across while poking through our pasta recipe archives. That’s a truly versatile dish for the holidays or any day.

Susie Middleton

Emily Meegan's Spaghetti with Lemon, Anchovies, Capers and Olives also jumped out at me. I love that recipe so much, and it could be a light supper over the weekend after the big Thanksgiving meal.

Susie Middleton

And I found the easy Tortellini Soup I created last year as a destination for leftover turkey. That's a great one for Friday night.

Susie Middleton

I realize you've got to eat something other than pasta this weekend. And if you're only on-Island for the holiday, you don't want to leave without a meal of Vineyard seafood. My suggestions?


If you've got a little extra time this weekend, you can get your holiday cookie baking started. Why not begin with Snickerdoodles? We've got two variations: My thin and chewy Snickerdoodles and Abby Dodge's Cornmeal Snickerdoodles.

Susie Middleton

Happy Thanksgiving and happy long weekend. I’ll see you on Instagram @cookthevineyard.

P.S. Congratulations to Theresa Culletto, the Vineyard Baker, on her new book, Beautiful Bread (read more here). It's available at Bunch of Grapes bookstore and would make a fun holiday gift for your favorite baker.

Zivah Solomon


What's Open, What's Happening

If you're looking to make a dinner reservation or wondering which farm stands and markets are open, visit What's Open on Martha's Vineyard for regularly updated listings.


Salt Rock Chocolate Co. is popping up in Menemsha outside of Pandora's Box every Wednesday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or until sold out) through December 20.

Reader Photo

Bruce Cole, editor and publisher of Edible San Francisco and the fabulous newsletter, Eat.Drink.Think., sent us this photo of his rendition of our Gruyere Potato Galette with Fall Herbs. He swapped compté in for the gruyere. It looked so delicious we thought we'd share it with you.

Bruce Cole