Sunday, March 29, 2009
That's right folks.. It's that time of the month again. Time for another tasty challenge. Daring Bakers went the savoury route this month instead of the usual sweets. Lasagne of Emilia Romagna.
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.
Lasagne was the first dish I asked my mom to teach me before I moved out of my parent's house to fly 3000 miles away to Melbourne 7 years ago. I barely know my way in the kitchen back then. Baking brownies and cookies was as far as I get in the kitchen. I always loved her lasagne for its extra cheesy, creamy taste from the bechamel sauce she made from scratch. She always use packet of dry lasagne and bottled tomato pasta sauce, but it was still sooo good.
There's a couple of stages to this challenge. One, we have to make homemade lasagne sheets, then we have to make the beef ragu sauce and the bechamel sauce. A long and lengthy process, but it was worth the effort and I actually find it quite therapeutic. Especially when I needed to escape from my assignments even just for a while. And to think that I have dinner/lunch sorted for a couple of days, is just what I need when I'm planning to bury myself in my books to do this essay due next week. It's only a minor one, but coming from a design background, essays, especially a marketing one, is not a minor thing to do. I need colours!! not words.
I decided to change a couple of things to the recipe. I don't like veal, and too lazy to go to the store to get some facon (M won't speake to me if I put pancetta in this one, he loves lasagne), so I opt out these two and use only minced beef in the ragu. I also added heaps of mushrooms in the ragu. As I said before, I love my lasagne very cheesy.. so only natural for me to add heaps of cheese to the beschamel sauce. Was quite surprise when I saw the bescamel sauce does not include cheese! Sorry if I crossed anyone for changing the recipe =).
The main thing that went wrong in making this recipe was when I was about to make the lasagne sheet.. got my dough ready.. and when I was about to take out the pasta machine, only then I realized it was GONE! The very moment I actually need it and it wasn't there. The pasta machine doesn't belong to me you see. It was my housemate's boyfriend's. But it had resided here in my kitchen since last November, and I thought it was staying here for good. I did notice that my housemate stopped by at the house last Friday, but didn't think she took the pasta machine (eventhough we're housemates, we rarely see each other at home). Oh well, back to rolling pins and a lot of elbow grease then.. I had some doubts about the spinach pasta since I hate spinach, but in the end I decided to have it a go and boy it tasted good!
I'm eating a plate right now while writing this. Yumm yumm.. Thanks again ladies for the tasty challenge! Can't wait for next month's.