Wednesday, March 11, 2009

For The Love Of Lasagna

I was too busy to post anything yesterday. What was I so busy doing? I'm glad you asked. I was making lasagna. Not just one lasagna, but four.
It all started because my husband promised a friend that I would make him a pan of lasagna in return for a favor. I decided that if I was going to make one for him, I might as well make one for us, too. But then my son's girlfriend had a short day at school yesterday. She's taking her college aptitude exams this week and gets out of school earlier than the kids who aren't currently taking them. You may remember her from my onion cutting demo. In my mind the equation went like this: kid with no school + lasagna to be made = free help! Of course, it wouldn't be fair to have her help me and then leave empty handed, so that added one more. I happened to mention it to my dad when I talked to him and he said if I was already making three, why not make one more for he and my mom. That brought the total to four.
I bought all of the ingredients by the case or in commercial sizes at Sam's Club. It was a lot less expensive that way and left us with a lot fewer cans of tomatoes to open (except the tomato paste, that only comes in little cans).

You can find the complete recipe we used here. Other than multiplying the recipe by four, we didn't make any significant changes. We did opt to make the sauce without Italian sausage, though. I won't bore you with every step in the process, but here are some of the highlights.

The pressing of the fresh garlic.

Onions and garlic, ready to go.

Sweating the onions. See how evenly chopped they are? That technique really works! The ground beef and tomato products were added next, but not pictured.

Lots of dried herbs.

Mix it up well! That black thing is the spoon.

Simmer for 1 1/2 hours (or until it smells so good you can't stand it anymore!). My daughter joined us at this point, but there wasn't much to do with the sauce other than stir it occasionally. So we made chocolate chip cookies. This is the unbaked dough. The cookies didn't stick around long enough for me to take a picture (no, we didn't eat the whole batch, there's more dough in the refrigerator).

Now comes the time for preparing the noodles, mixing up the ricotta filling and assembling the final product(s). We used the hot water soaking method with the noodles. I got a little lazy about photographing any of these steps, but I did get an awesome shot of oil floating on the water for the noodles.

Actually, I got a few shots of oil floating on water, but this is my favorite.

Like I said, I got lazy about photographing the final steps. I also didn't get a shot of all our finished lasagnas lined up next to one another. Here's what it looked like after baking, though.

Wanna see it on a plate with salad and garlic bread?

We had ours for dinner last night. The others are still sitting in my refrigerator waiting to be baked and eaten by their recipients.

I'd like to thank my assistants. We made a big mess of the kitchen, but we had fun and the lasagna is delicious and the cookies are amazing (and gone).


Gracey said...

Yum! And I loved the song!

Lissaloo said...

How bout 5? :) I love Lasagna but the Hubby doesn't so I have only made it twice in the last 12 years :( It looks soooooo good! :)

Katie said...

That looks so good. I love garlic bread as well so I just want to grab that piece right off of my monitor.

Raoulysgirl said... I want lasagna. You guys are killing me with the food posts!!! Looks wonderful!!!

L.B. said...

Wow. Four lasagnas. That's insane!

Now I am craving lasagna. Too bad I'm making Asian food tonight.

HoodieChick said...

I helped! And the lasagna is amazingly good. But I think I was more excited about the cookie dough.=]

Donna-FFW said...

OMG!! That looks so delicious. I can NOT believe you made that many. My hat is off to you. NOW, I am craving me some:)

Talita said...

Hmmm, I love lasagna! I always make it.