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Lasagna: More Time Than You Think, and Worth It

January 21, 2010

My husband is standing by with a fork, waiting for me to finish shooting this piece of lasagna.

“Oh, come on over, I’ll just throw together a quick lasagna.”

Uh, yeah…famous last words.

Lasagna is one of the greatest foods on the planet. People love lasagna. My husband says that when he eats a really good lasagna it tickles the back of his throat (that’s when I smile and nod, he’s a very nice man). But it’s a fact that a dish that (in general) seems so basic, so rustic and homey, always TAKES MUCH MORE TIME THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD.

But here’s the thing: it’s worth it. I am not trying to talk you out of it — just the opposite. I just want to acknowledge the reality. Every layered, savory, flavor-melded bite is so good you forget that you were up until midnight the night before muttering to yourself. If you possibly can, make it in stages. The next time you’re making a homemade tomato sauce, double that recipe, and freeze half. Boil up those noodles the night before, toss them in a little oil, and tuck them into the fridge.  Saute any veggies, grate the cheese and make the béchamel ahead of time (oh, and P.S. maybe even buy grated cheese).

Is making lasagna a lot of work? Yeah, it is. But it’s quite similar to childbirth: the lasagna is so delicious and charming that you forgot all about the pain you subjected yourself to bringing it into the world.

You might even make another. Maybe even two.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Page permalink
    January 21, 2010 1:43 pm

    Good day,
    A Dear friend of mine and a very accomplished cook tried the Cheese fondue recipie by Nigella Lawson.
    We liked the idea of using 3 kinds of cheese so we did.Gruye’re,fontina,and brie.We followed the directions but soon realized after bringing mixture to a boil.We were ending up with a consistency of cheese soup. A quick run to the store and purchase of another block of cheese,grated and added to the mixture helped some.The fondue became thicker but never really combined.We ended up with creamy layer on topwith no cheese.Odd.

    We have made fondue before and never had this situation.After scratching our heads,and much debate,we concluded it must have beent the double cream brie.The melt point just seperated the cream.Does this ring true to anyone else?Any other thoughts on what ended up tasty but looking like a science experiment gone bad? We ate it anyway of course! Who cares it a ton of melted cheese.

    Love to hear some feedback.

    • Katie Workman, Editor-in-Chief permalink*
      January 22, 2010 2:26 pm

      I think that it’s likely that the double cream cheese contributed to the results. But I have to say, it does sound like a great cheese combo! Maybe less brie next time, and more of the solid melting cheeses.

  2. robert stagg permalink
    January 21, 2010 2:16 pm

    The “Badniera” lasagna must be “Bandiera”.

    • Katie Workman, Editor-in-Chief permalink*
      January 22, 2010 2:21 pm

      Thank you so much – we fixed that!

  3. Serita permalink
    January 21, 2010 2:34 pm

    “My husband is standing by with a fork, waiting for me to finish shooting this piece of lasagna.” Your photo caption slays me!

    My guy does the same thing… And since I tend to photograph every new meal I make, he’s gotten quite good at waiting for his dinner (poor fellow!).

    PS- I have lasagna envy, yours are so fancy! Grew up with an Italian dad and so while the sauce was always homemade and the lasagna delicious, other than boiling the noodles and baking the whole shebang, ours were/are pretty simple/quick! 😀

  4. Katie Workman, Editor-in-Chief permalink*
    January 22, 2010 2:23 pm

    Homemade sauce makes a pretty damn great lasagna, I have to say. But any lasagna is better than no lasagna!

  5. Erica Heisman permalink
    January 25, 2010 1:18 pm

    I still remember how time-consuming it was to prepare a vegetarian lasagna that I made several years ago. I think the recipe may have been from one of the Moosewood cookbooks. I recall it contained spinach, and I since it was years ago, all spinach had to be washed by hand. There were no handy pre-cleaned bags of greens available in the grocery stores then.

    It was delicious, but it took so long, I’ve never attempted another. But perhaps, I’m ready to try a new recipe, you make it sound so worth the effort. And this time, I’ll prepare it in stages, per your suggestion.

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