What have you been doing during your time at home? Recently, I made lasagna for the first time in years. Here’s what happened.
I Made Lasagna for the First Time in Years: Here is What Happened
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, lasagna is a dish that normally we’d traditionally eat on Easter. Perhaps it’s because it is a labor of love or maybe it’s because of tradition, but whatever the reason it’s something that my family and I have had every year for many, many years with smoked collard greens and ham.
Due to the current circumstances, we’re all in, we could not visit family this year for Easter. However, one of the many things we look forward to this time of year is that lasagna, so during one shopping trip, I picked up some tomato sauce, ground turkey, lasagna noodles, ricotta, shredded mozzarella and said I’d make it. I grabbed my camera, washed my hands frequently and decided since I was making it that I’d capture it for the blog.
Mind you – I cannot remember the last time I made lasagna, so not only were the directions fuzzy but I forgot exactly what goes into the one my mom makes which is a little bit different than traditional lasagna.
I called her a lot during the time that I made it but realized in the midst of the call that I had forgotten a few of the ingredients and steps.
My mom’s recipe calls for certain, cheeses in certain cuts.
I brought shredded mozzarella instead of a mozzarella log.
I am planning on attending to make it again soon, so I’ll save the good recipe (which hopefully will turn out right) until then. But since we like to keep it honest around here and since I know some of you mentioned in a poll we shared a while ago on social media that you wanted to see more recipe posts during this time, I figured I’d share this one to show you that sometimes recipes fail. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, but it makes for an interesting story to tell. Here are some of the mistakes I made, so hopefully you don’t.
I USED THE WRONG CHEESES
While I had ricotta cheese and mozzarella, as I mentioned above I did not have a mozzarella log – something my mom’s recipe calls for. I also did not include the additional cheeses my mom typically uses, depending on what’s available, for her lasagna so it wasn’t the cheesy, gooey lasagna I’ve loved and remembered. I’ll be sure to share the cheeses that I decided to use in the post I’m planning to share soon. If I could stress one thing in terms of cheeses, I’d recommend not using shredded mozzarella for sure. Place shredded cheese in an oven for 45 minutes and you’ll end up with some pretty crispy, mozzarella cheese on the top of your lasagna.
I MESSED UP THE NOODLES
I brought too many lasagna noodles. Speaking of noodles, I cooked them in the pot at the same time and cooked them longer than I needed to since I was baking it. I found this out after I called my mom, but I called her after I boiled the noodles. The conversation went something like this.
- Mom: Oh, I wanted to tell you too that you should separate the noodles while they’re hot since you don’t want them to cook together.
- Me: I’m doing that, now.
- Mom: You also want to make sure you don’t cook the noodles all the way through since you’re going to bake it.
- Mom: It’s also a good idea to not put them all in one pot so that they don’t accidentally cook together.
- Me: Um…
- Mom: What?
- Me: I did all those things.
Yes, y’all. Everything my mom told me not to do, I had already done because I waited until after the fact to call her. Next time I will definitely make sure that I take heed to these instructions.
I DID NOT READ THE INSTRUCTIONS
I did not read the instructions for the box of noodles. I should have and my husband is always joking that I rarely read the instructions when cooking meals, but I thought because I’ve made pasta many times before that it’s pretty self-explanatory. You just boil it right? Nope! They tell you on the box that you’re not supposed to cook it all at once and that you’re not supposed to cook it all the way through. Following the directions would’ve saved me frantically trying to separate the noodles before they cooled.
I DIDN’T TRIM THE EDGES OF MY LASAGNA PAN
We have a small, deep dish pan and what I should have done was trim the noodles so that they fit in the pan. I did not and what happened was I ended up making crispy chips on the ends of my lasagna. In fact, the darker parts of the lasagna you see are mostly the noodles that were hanging on the outside of it.
These photographs were of one of the best pieces of the lasagna I could photograph, haha.
WELL, HOW WAS IT?
Burnt parts aside due to some of the mistakes I made, my husband said it was really good. I know typically spouses will say flowery things, but my husband and I have known each other long enough that if he doesn’t like something, he won’t hesitate to say. Trust me. He said that he enjoyed it and thought it was very flavorful, so despite the errors I made all was not completely lost.
I think that while there are things I plan to do the next time that I make it, it turned out delicious! It wasn’t dry and I seasoned the meat pretty well. Not all of the pieces had charred lasagna noodles turning the edges into chips.
Mistakes happen and I think a lot of the mistakes that I made while trying to make this lasagna this time around, I will be able to improve on the next time that I make it. Now that I’ve shared my attempt at making an Easter lasagna, we’d love to hear from you!
What’s a recipe that you’ve made recently? Did it go well or did it not go as planned? What happened?