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Friday, March 27, 2009

Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna

So many new discoveries this month.. let's count!

1- I CAN post more than once a month! I can!
2- Someone's bad karma CAN bite them in the ass eventually! (No, not me :P)
3- I can live on Totino's Pizza Rolls when I absolutely have to!
4- I'm the ONLY Daring Baker who couldn't wait for her lasagne to set up before slicing!
5- Who knew Hubbs would put the kibosh on green noodles??
6- Indoor plumbing is VERY! IMPORTANT!

Okay I'll stop on that last one.. yes, major plumbing issues this month.. and a husband who REFUSED to call a plumber because "I CAN FIX THIS". Two 100 foot plumbers' snake rentals, 3 wax rings and about eleventy billion loads of sopping wet towels later - we have working drains and faucets and toilets and showers and we didn't have to call a plumber.

Now ask me if I've started to hit the bottle around mid-morning snack time. :P

Cooking dinner without working plumbing isn't easy either.. and this is how I found out I could eat pizza rolls 3 nights in a row, where previously they would make me gag. Maybe I didn't gag because the only energy I had left at pizza roll eating time was swallowing.

So needless to say, the Daring Bakers challenge was put off, yet again, until the last week of the month. We were supposed to make it last weekend, but Super Plumber reckoned he deserved a weekend off to play with his brother, and Ivonne and I decided it was high time to get some unfinished The Daring Kitchen website business taken care of. So that left no room for lasagne as planned. But, we figured, this wouldn't be a big deal as there are two of us and only 1 lasagne to make. Should be a piece of cake! Mmmm hmmm....

First off, let me insert the information for this month's challenge:

The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.

Our lovely hostesses only had one thing to say.. we must make our own pasta sheets from scratch! HAR! Dough! Me! *thud* To say I was a little nervous going into this is truly an understatement. Dough hates me. Seriously, I could screw up a simple pizza dough, believe me. And they want me to make pasta dough? Flavored pasta dough? The kind you have to roll out MANUALLY?? *eek* Oh yeah, Hubbs didn't have a chance of getting outta this one. Even if we had made it over the weekend with all the time in the world, he still didn't have a chance.

Okay well, back to two of us and only 1 lasagne. We figured we'd make the pasta dough and the ragu on Monday night and then make the bechamel and assemble, bake and eat the lasagne on Tuesday night. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA! Here's what happened..

Monday it rained, and Hubbs didn't have to work - so I asked if he'd mind making the ragu because that would save us so much time once I got home. We'd only have to make the pasta. Easy Peasy! He agreed.. and he made a mighty fine ragu in my opinion. His opinion.. slightly different.. he didn't feel that it was worth the 3 hours he put into it. When I got home from my 8 in the dungeon, we were to make the pasta dough - BUT - he had decided to surprise me! He made the dough while the ragu was simmering on the stove, bless his reinforced toe tube socks!

Problem was.. and I tried not to giggle, point and stare.. honest. I tried. But his "ball of dough" laying on the counter resembled something that most likely died of a really bad case of the shingles. The thing had scales. And lumps. It was kind of the shape of a ball.. like maybe a rubber ball that's sat in the sun for years and was just flaking apart when the wind hit it just right? I should mention, we did NOT make the spinach flavored dough as requested by our lovely hostesses. No, I'm sorry, but he will not eat spinach pasta. HATES IT. And since I'm not the biggest lasagne fan - I love it! But it's just too rich of a dish for me.. we eat it maybe twice a year, maybe - I really wanted to make a lasagne that he'd eat. So in discussing it the week prior, we decided that we'd take the unbelievably delicious slow roasted tomatoes made from the last of our tomatoes at the end of summer last year, thaw 'em out, puree them and use that in lieu of the spinach. Since the recipe called for 10 oz. of spinach and since spinach is so light, we figured 5 oz. of the pureed tomatoes would work. Apparently not. :) Not enough liquid to keep that dough ball baby alive. Jebus, it's death must have been painful.. poor guy.


So I made the pasta dough this time.. and I upped the amount of slow roasted tomato puree to about 8 oz. and threw in 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Perfection! OHMYGOD I MADE PASTA DOUGH and it didn't give me the big F!U! in return for my efforts! I'm grinning from ear to ear right now, and this happened several days ago! teeeee!

So I started kneading.. and kneading.. when I realized I should be taking photos! Yes Photos! I'm a blogger after all! This is for my blog! "Ohhhh honeyyyy.. can you take over the kneading so I can photograph it??" Muahahahahaahaha And that he did:


We decided to let the dough rest until after we'd had dinner - I think he had micro-waveable creamed beef on toast and I had a hot dog? Something.. might have been cereal.. no wait.. yeah, it was pizza rolls. *sigh* And after our nutritious and very low sodium dinners, we said screw the pasta and watched Two and a Half Men.

The next day after work, we came home and rolled the pasta. No wait.. when I say "we" I really mean "he" - I had to be super photographer again, doncha know? It took him approximately 2.5 hours to roll that dough out to what we thought was paper thin. He went in sections.. very small sections.. and my job was to take pretty pictures and to hang the sheets (I use that term loosely) over our kitchen table chairs. Here, look for yourselves:

  
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA! All I could do that night was think about Silence of the Lambs.. remember how the serial killer would take pieces parts of his victims' skin and sew them together to form a mask? Holy cow he would have peed himself had he waltzed into our kitchen! Look at this one! It's got the eyes and mouth hole already built in!!


By the time rolling was done, we looked at each other and again said, "screw it". He ate the pizza rolls and I had cereal that night. I think I watched a few Ellen shows I had tivo'd.

Now we're on day THREE. And come hell or high water, we were going to eat this bitch TONIGHT. We were DONE dammit. So I started the bechamel (which neither of us wanted, but I had already cheated with the tomato flavored dough so I couldn't make any other changes without the possibility of the Daring Lynch Mob coming after me), and he put the water on to boil and heated the ragu. 20 minutes into it, we realized that our noodles WEREN'T paper thin and wow.. they were kinda thicker than we thought. So imagine the two of us standing in the middle of our kitchen holding up steamy fakkin hot strips o'noodles debating on whether or not we could see each other through them. "I can see you plain as day! Quit moving", "I didn't move". "oh.. maybe I'm looking at Chloe then?" "Well I can see you!", "Yeah, well I don't doubt it as you've got both eyes open and I'm about 140 times wider than that strip of pasta."

Ahhh.. newlywed love. Can you feel it?

ANYHOO.. we assembled the lasagne and gently covered the pan with foil.. slid her into the hot oven and listened to our stomachs growl for about an hour. At this time, the lasagne was finished and looking wonderful - smelling even better. I should have waited a while for it to cool down a bit and set up, but I truly thought I'd be signing divorce papers had I not cut that baby tout de suite. I mean the man was standing over me with a fork in one hand and a glass of milk in the other. ;)

So I cut.. and it oozed a lil.. and then I slid my favorite fish flippin' spatula underneath and slowly lifted a piece of what smelled like heaven.. and then.. *sploooooge* It totally slid apart and I barely got it on the plate:

This did not deter us from eating it right then and there. And let me tell ya'll.. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO happy we didn't fall from the recipe a second time - the bechamel was divine with the lasagne. OMG SO GOOD. The ragu was delish, the pasta had a lovely texture, although we couldn't really taste it's flavor with it being buried under all that other stuff.. but all in all, the judges gave this lasagne a 10. No longer will I ever make the heavy lasagne I grew up on.. this will now be my go-to lasagne with maybe just a few small alterations here and there to cut some time.. but nothing major because I wouldn't want to lose that flavor and lightness it had.

Thanks so much for a great experience and a new go-to recipe, Mary, Enza & Melinda!!

xoxo

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Comments on "Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna"

 

Blogger BC said ... (3/27/2009 11:56 AM) : 

You are cracking' me up - Silence of the Lambs Lasagne ... hmmm, has potential.

 

Anonymous Courtney said ... (3/27/2009 12:12 PM) : 

okay the silence of the lamb is too funny! your lasanga looks yummy and i bet it was nice having a change from good old pizza rolls!

 

Blogger Candice said ... (3/27/2009 1:24 PM) : 

Haha. So great. I too had problems with my lasagne. Not quite as much as you did, but still, I can see how the recipe gave you problems!

 

Blogger Engineer Baker said ... (3/27/2009 2:06 PM) : 

Silence of the Lambs Lasagne? Does that explain the tomato pasta too? Too funny. Kudos on getting everything done with all the plumbing-related madness!

 

Blogger Lisa Michelle said ... (3/27/2009 3:01 PM) : 

LISA!! Your post just made my day! I am in tears laughing, especially at the Silence of the lambs 'hanging skin' pasta!!! First it takes the 'sauce' then puts it in the basket, err, lasagne! hehe. Your lasagne looks delish, but your humor slays me! I can't wait to read this to J when he gets home. OH, BTW, I didn't wait for my lasagne to set either - in fact, I NEVER do, unless I'm having company, but it's so phony when I 'play' patient! You really do ROCK, girly XOXOXO!

 

Blogger Dragana said ... (3/27/2009 3:03 PM) : 

I always laugh sooo hard while I'm reading your posts! The part about Silence of the Lambs is classic! I'm glad you made it and were able to post so that the rest of us can have a blast reading all about it!!!

 

Blogger Sara said ... (3/27/2009 3:43 PM) : 

Gorgeous!

 

Blogger breadchick said ... (3/27/2009 4:36 PM) : 

Lis, I always love your DB challenge posts because I can absolutely be guaranteed to laugh.... You could have served a side of Fava Beans with those noodles ;-)

Glad you had such a handy guy around the kitchen.

 

Blogger Snooky doodle said ... (3/27/2009 5:16 PM) : 

lasagne is one of my favourited . this looks delicious. Ha you made me laugh with your comment on Silent of the lambs :)

 

Blogger Laura Rebecca said ... (3/27/2009 8:05 PM) : 

The lasagna looks delicious. You served it not only fava beans, like Mary said, but a nice chianti, right? Ffffffffffff!

 

Blogger ARLENE said ... (3/27/2009 8:49 PM) : 

OMG, I am ROTFLMAO. Can I think of any more acronyms. This was very, very funny. I'm so glad you were able to forego the Totinos and have a real meal, at last. I'll bet the tomato lasagna was great.

 

Blogger Elle said ... (3/27/2009 8:54 PM) : 

As usual your post had me rolling on the floor laughing.Har!
No Daring Lynch Mob will be after you sweetie...this is lovely lasagna. Come summer I might have to try that tomato variation. Hope your Daring Plumber no longer has a job at your house...after all those pizza bites can't compete with great lazagna!

 

Blogger Lauren said ... (3/27/2009 11:35 PM) : 

Haha =D Love your post! Your lasagne also looks awesome!

 

Blogger Elga said ... (3/28/2009 5:16 AM) : 

La pasta l hai fatta riposare abbastanza? E' per questo che si rompe, e forse l hai tirata troppo sottile, comunque il risultato finale è golosissimo!

 

Blogger Jenny said ... (3/28/2009 5:59 AM) : 

If a lasagne doesn't slide and drip, it isn't real. Or its frozen.
Lovely work, and I love the idea of the tomatoes in it!

 

Blogger Aparna said ... (3/28/2009 8:30 AM) : 

Boy, am I glad you made this lasagne. Well, you got a break from the pizza rolls and me, I just picked myself off the floor to write this comment. :D

Thanks for making my day!

 

Blogger The Food Hunter said ... (3/28/2009 11:59 AM) : 

What a great post. Thanks for sharing and making me laugh.

 

OpenID shellyfish said ... (3/28/2009 12:28 PM) : 

You're such a funny bunny! The gaping mouth and eye holes are specifically hilarious.
Your husband is a gem. I don't think mine would get as involved in the challenge...but I should ask.
I loved those pizza rolls when I was little. I haven't thought of them since...maybe I should veganize them!!!

 

Blogger Y said ... (3/28/2009 7:07 PM) : 

Hilarious post! Sounds like a lot of pizza rolls and miscellaneous other non-lasagne-type-things went into the making of this three day lasagne! Glad the end result was entirely worth it.

 

Blogger Chris said ... (3/28/2009 10:41 PM) : 

okay...so we're sitting here quietly...he's working on a proposal thing and me? Checking out DBers. Leave it to your post to make me laugh so loud, he jumped, scowled, and moved to the other room. Thanks! I needed that...the laugh and the alone time. :)

 

Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said ... (3/28/2009 11:54 PM) : 

Always incredible! I can see that Daring Lynch Mob forming up now . . . if they ever arrive, you'll totally disarm them with falling on the floor laughs and this lasagne!!
I loved these spinach noodles.

 

Blogger Laura said ... (3/29/2009 12:20 AM) : 

The image of the pasta skin was too funny!

Thanks for stopping my blog and for the sun dried tomato inspiration. I will try it.

 

Blogger ice tea: sugar high said ... (3/29/2009 2:25 AM) : 

Silence of the lamb... hahahaha.. you cracked me up. Your lasagne looked delish Lisa =)

 

Blogger Mary said ... (3/29/2009 2:48 AM) : 

The image of a flaking, scaley ball of dough is making me laugh!

 

Blogger Lis said ... (3/29/2009 7:12 AM) : 

hehee now I'm ticked off that we didn't serve it with a side of fava beans and a nice Chianti! HAR!

Laura Rebecca? BAHAHAHAHAHAHAA! That was perfect, thank you!!! :D

You guys have made MY day.. thanks for all the funny comments!

XOXOXOXO

 

Anonymous kellypea said ... (3/29/2009 11:52 AM) : 

OMG. Silence of the Lambs? Only you would think of that. So LOVELY to be hooting over one of your much missed posts, Lis. *sigh* Who cares if you write about food. Just write, 'kay? I need my fix. Hubs' lasagna looks heavenly btw.

 

OpenID sleepingbearinthekitchen said ... (3/29/2009 9:37 PM) : 

Oh Hon, I just Luz ya!!!! Wayne is a wonder with the plumbing and the pasta it seems!!!!!


KKHH
J

 

Blogger Passionate About Baking said ... (3/29/2009 10:35 PM) : 

This is hysterically funny...loved reading your post! Way to go!!

 

Blogger Wolf said ... (3/30/2009 12:34 AM) : 

I'm sorry, I was laughing so hard throughout this entire entry.}:P

At least your hubby will help make pasta.}:P

 

Anonymous veron said ... (3/30/2009 8:41 AM) : 

It's so sweet and funny..you and hubbs...newly wed love indeed! That lasagna looks delicious, you both did a fantastic job!

 

Blogger JJ said ... (3/30/2009 12:48 PM) : 

Dude! You're about to get me fired from my job - I'm crackin' up:-) You have to be the funniest blogger EVER. You're lasagne looks delicious. Great job!

 

Blogger Dharm said ... (3/31/2009 8:18 AM) : 

Ah Lis! What a great post and what great looking lasagne too! How lucky you are that Hubbs helps you out with the challenges too. Hugs all round! And just in chase Hannibal is lurking... go hide the knives!!

 

Blogger william ding said ... (3/31/2009 9:09 AM) : 

Very nice!
My blog: http://go-joke-time.blogspot.com ! Join Us!

 

Blogger Stephanie said ... (4/01/2009 7:10 AM) : 

Silence of the Lambs lasagna = utter genius.

It looked delicious in the end!

 

OpenID madcapcupcake said ... (4/01/2009 3:00 PM) : 

It's always good to have a partner, in both kneading AND plumbing :)

 

Blogger Sheltie Girl said ... (4/02/2009 9:27 PM) : 

You did a wonderful job on your lasagne! I'm not even touching the Silence of the Lambs...even the thought of it gives me the willies. Yeah, the movie was a bit too much for me.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

 

Anonymous Mary said ... (4/03/2009 4:03 PM) : 

I so enjoyed your lasagne story. Gave me a good laugh to start my day. Have you ever thought of using eggroll skins in place of making your own dough? Works great and also quick fix for ravioli.Silence of the Lambs Lasagne--hilarious.

 

Anonymous emiglia said ... (4/04/2009 8:22 AM) : 

Don't worry... I couldn't wait to serve mine either.

How was the tomato-flavored pasta? Did you eat any of it plain?

 

Anonymous Carmela said ... (4/05/2009 5:23 PM) : 

Congrats on making home made lasagne. It looks great.

Buon appetito,

Carmela

 

Blogger Faery said ... (4/05/2009 9:38 PM) : 

Your lasagna is perfect and looks yummy, I had more than one problem with my lasagna :( but the result was delicious :)

 

OpenID coffeegrounded said ... (4/07/2009 4:08 PM) : 

Oh you are too funny...and so good for the spirit. I loved the way you wove the tail and I could SO relate!

 

Blogger Maris said ... (4/07/2009 11:27 PM) : 

LOL at Silence of the Lamb.

I love your blog - these recipes sound so great!

 

Blogger Tartelette said ... (4/08/2009 1:03 AM) : 

Meant comment never went through looks like...

The lasagne look fabulous!

You know what I love to see though? That shiny ring on W's finger...HA!!

And hello???? As a co-founder of the DBS, how come you don't have over 1000 coming to kiss you pretty feet?!!

 

Blogger SoCal Pastry Chef said ... (4/09/2009 2:42 AM) : 

I love the commentary. I wouldn't care what it tasted like, I would pay anything to see the two of you looking at each other through pasta. Classic.

 

OpenID lisamichele said ... (4/11/2009 12:36 AM) : 

Lis..I had to comment here again as I STILL can't stop laughing at this

"I can see you plain as day! Quit moving", "I didn't move". "oh.. maybe I'm looking at Chloe then?" "Well I can see you!", "Yeah, well I don't doubt it as you've got both eyes open and I'm about 140 times wider than that strip of pasta

WHICH I forgot to mention in my last post as I was too busy guffawing at the SOTL pasta skin/faces. I have literally sent people your URL so they can read your hysterical posts.

Also, THANK YOU for reviewing The Happening, as Jason keeps trying to get me to watch it on PPV with him, claiming "I heard it's a really good movie, baby!" You saved me $4.95 HA HA! :) Luv youuu! XOXOXO

 

Anonymous Isolated Foodie said ... (4/14/2009 7:32 PM) : 

Wow...I've been looking through some of the commentaries for DB so I have some idea what I'm in for next month. This sets a really, really high bar.

 

Anonymous Rumela said ... (9/08/2009 3:54 AM) : 

Thank you for the recipe!! The lasagna looks wonderful. I will try to make it when I have all the ingredients around. Looks so simple!! thank you for shearing your post.

 

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