November 18, 2008

Lasagna Experiment

There are a few things that many people make and it just comes naturally to them. Unfortunately, I am a bit lasagna-challenged. I really want to come up with a recipe that completely satisfies and makes for excellent leftovers the next day.

Why lasagna? It's a great comfort food dish as the weather turns colder. This casserole type dish that is filled with curly edged noodles, cheeses (oh, yes, it must be several types of cheese), sauce and sometimes it has meat but others it has mostly vegetables. There are so many versions of lasagna floating around in the world. Some require a bechamel sauce, others are more simplistic and just require the red tomato sauce layered with the noodles and the cheese mixture. Since this is something that can be made according to anyone's preferences then I should be able to come up with a good recipe, right?

This attempt I wanted to include a combination of fresh spinach and mushrooms. I sauteed both before incorporating them into the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses so that I could cook out as much of the natural moisture as possible. Soggy lasagna is not appealing at all, so I figured this would be a good place to begin. I also used my usual tomato sauce that I keep on hand.
lasagna 1st try
Well, the verdict is that I will continue to keep trying to find the perfect combination of ingredients to create our family recipe. The sauce is a great basic sauce, but it needs some kind of punch added to it to take to the next level when it comes to using it in lasagna. I also think next time I may try the bechamel sauce version since what I've read is that it tends to make it less "goopy" and is actually the more traditional way of preparing this classic dish. I have a bit more research to do and many more recipes to check out as continue on this self-imposed challenge.

Of course, AFTER I made this lasagna I came across a cool blog that is totally focused on how to make different types of lasagna, My Lasagna Recipe. There are a few different versions in addition to the blogger's main recipe.

I'm submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights which is being hosted over at Soy and Pepper this week. Be sure to stop by there on Friday to see what pasta creations were made throughout the food blogging world.

To go along with our lasagna, My Husband was back at bread baking again last weekend! This time, he decided to make four smaller loaves. Two round ones and 2 mini baguettes. He seasoned each one with the oil dipping seasonings that we picked up awhile ago from Le Gourmet Chef that comes with 4 different choices. These are great seasoning blends for bread and really added a better flavor to each bread.
bread week 2 - 2
Stay tuned for more lasagna adventures over the next couple of months - it may take that long to find the perfect recipe for our family!
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LaDue & Crew said...

Spinach and mushroom sounds great! I'll have to work on that combo. Give my lasagna a try. The short ribs cooking in the sauce really add a lot- a nice, deep flavor, Let me know what you think if you get around to trying it:

Lisa said...

Hi Patsy,
One of my specialities is lasagna. If you are looking for a traditional high calorie meat and cheese one, here is mine:

This is my husbands favorite.

Leslie said... I have never made lasagna before! Hmmmm..maybe I should try!

Ruth Daniels said...

Thanks for sharing the tale, the recipe and the link to lasagna recipes. That site could keep us all busy for months!

Deborah said...

I love lasagna, so I'll have to check out that site! I'm sure you'll find your perfect version one day!

Mary said...

Patsy, thanks for the heads-up on the lasagna website. I'm heading there now. Your lasagna and your husbands bread are mighty tempting.

Lore said...

Love the combo you went for! I remember when I first made lasagna, the noddles weren't exactly cooked, more on the "crispy" side *blush*. I guess you shouldn't think you're lasagna-challenged because yours looks really delicious!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I love the spinach and mushrooms you put in your lasagna! I bet that was great!

I find that when I am making stuffed pasta dishes with ricotta, I add a little sugar to the sauce and a splash of vinegar - it tends to go really well with the cheese.

I also know there is a big argument between the bechamel and ricotta people. It depends on what part of Italy you are from, which is more traditional.

I am a ricotta girl myself, but bechamel is good, too! :)

That Girl said...

I love lasagna - especially how well it freezes.

Gloria Chadwick said...

If you want to put a little punch in your sauce, add some cayenne pepper. I use it in my sauce when I make baked eggplant parmesan and it might work well in your tomato-based lasagna sauce.

Veronica said...

I love to make lasagna. I always make it with a bechamel...I just think it gives it that extra something. That homemade bread looks awesome!

Nilmandra said...

Wow with such lovely lasagne and fresh baked bread, I would love to be a guest at your house any day! Thanks for the entry to Presto Pasta Night :) The round up will be posted on Friday night Pacific Time.

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