Monday, October 1, 2012

The lasagna story

My love for pasta is something I keep proclaiming now and then. I can be still more precise I love the dried ones better than the fresh ones, which is a surprise. I have seen so many videos where people talk about how we will hug the fresh ones if we try them. Well all of you have someone here to contradict. I find the dried ones more usable and extremely taste accommodating. I hate pasta made out of eggs both dry and wet.I still have to make my own pasta to complete the pasta research though.  Now that it is open that my post is about pasta lets go ahead. Shall we??

Lasagna, huh? first things first, it is a pasta dish. Yes, the cheese gooey  you will become fat for sure dish is a pasta dish. Unlike other pastas this particular pasta can be used to make ONLY lasagna. TLC introduced this dish to me but long before I got pregnant and mama had every opportunity to buy me one, but he DID NOT. I kept begging him to take me to an Italian restaurant and he never did until a few months back for pizza and not for PASTA. The only reason being Geneva is crowded with Italian restaurants. We have an average of two restaurants per street. But none of these restaurants sell lasagna or polenta both traditional Italian which is a shame. Don't ask me about the Pizza it sucks too that is why I make my own pizza if I really want one.

That's how you must look....ummma

My carving for this particular dish made me go crazy at times and I wanted to eat it before my delivery (yes, for more than a year). My mother was feeling bad too for not being able to fulfill my pregnancy carvings. She had no idea how to make it or how the hell it looked like. Pity her, the mama guy is the culprit here who was happy in Geneva. Then I spotted the lasagna in the frozen section of nilgiris and I wanted it so badly. Amma was so generous  she told me I can buy one but can eat only a spoonful.  I agreed whole heartily and I tasted my first ever lasagna. It was not nice though but I has very happy having ended my lookout for this dish. I made my brother much more happier by giving him the almost full box of lasagna.


The next time I had the lasagna it was in Geneva and again it was frozen. But this one was much better than the first one AND mama liked it. I still scold him for ditching me back in India and he will give me his usual smug smile. Determined that the next time I eat lasagna it will be my version I got into the ingredients collection. Lasagna sheets are pretty expensive here and barilla is the only brand available so I was waiting for a sale. The sale did show up but it was stupid, if we buy 1Kg of barilla products we will get 20 % off. But mama thought I could pick my lasagna sheets and the wheat pasta which I have been eyeing for a while. He was probably feeling BAD for ruining my Italian dreams back home. LOL.  I grabbed this opportunity and embraced the two packets with all of my heart. Now that I have got the sheets I have to make some lasagna   FINALLY.


I have this idea about GREEN, I think green is good for your health. The pasta sheets had two flavors one the normal and the other will be spinach. I took the spinach of course, but thinking of the cheese, butter and beef mince that will go in this is just so lame. For anyone who wants to eat a piece of lasagna I warn you, IT IS NOT HEALTHY, but still u can afford to eat it if you happen to be starving for quiet a while. I know  what you are thinking but lets face it I have been dreaming about making this for at least a year so its not wrong.

The flop show :( sigh!!

The lasagna is a layered dish consisting of a red sauce and a white sauce. Traditionally the red sauce is made out of beef mince and tomato puree. The white sauce is a mix of flour, milk and lots of butter, I know u feel heavy when u read this. Last but not least the final layer is just, plain Cheese. Mozzarella or Parmesan. I use both :P. The first time I made lasagna, it was a big flop. Both the sauces did not turn out well and I hated the beef mince. It was the first and the last time I ever brought beef in my life. I am soo not a red meat person and I will never ever put my money on it. The white sauce, it was the DEATH of the dish. I do  not have a whisk and I have no idea how to make the sauce without it. I made a thick unruly dough and I hated the sight of it. I had to omit this sauce in the layering part. It was a 2 layer lasagna and I did not like it, had to throw away half of it. 

Not this  :(

That was quiet a disaster and I felt so so so bad. I never even bothered to make another lasagna until last night, which is like 5 months after the failure. This time it was not me but mama, suddenly he had an urge to check my pantry. He thought it was loaded and overflowing, maybe he got some dream I guess. He was in for a shock of course, there was nothing overflowing and every thing neatly stacked up. The only items unused were some biriyani masala packets which mama had brought for him ( I will never use them, I have my mom's best ever biriyani recipe) and the lasagna sheets. He asked me what I was going to do with them and I said I need to buy more cheese to make some lasagna and he readily agreed. Did I ever mention that mama loves anything that is deep fried or cheese filled??. Oh ya he loves my pizza better than the shop brought for the same reason, I am pretty generous with the cheese. :)

Complete with the rosemary.....

So it happened again my lasagna making  for the second time and it was awesome. Should I even tell you that? This time every damn thing was planned, the recipe checked 10 times. My red sauce was a simple marinara sauce with some shredded carrots and left over chicken chunks (last minute addition). The white sauce was not exactly the butter, flour and milk mix. I added some mushroom, onion and spinach to make it more filling and less intimidating. Just a dollop of butter and that is all.  It came out super good and the texture was perfect and it was WHITE. The layering was all done in minutes, everything was falling into its place and I baked them covered for 30 mins and uncovered for the cheese to brown for another 15 minutes. Voila we were done. 

The last piece, we are full :)

My baking tray is really big, I can cook it for a family of four and I still have not thought about buying a small one. Hence we had the same lasagna for two meals, we had no choice but no one was complaining. No one will want to waste the cheesy evil goodness. This time Babbi wanted to eat some and mama gave her a small piece. She wanted some more and mama was telling "she is enjoying and eating this, just like you" . He is jealous that Babbi likes my kinda food and not HIS :). Did I ever mention she is not much of a rice lover? GLEE ...

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