Sunday, February 8, 2009

Homemade Lasagna

About a month ago, Derek and his friend made Lasgana as their homework assignment for their Food & Nutrition Class. As part of the assignment, they had to go shopping to pick up all the ingredients and do a dry run at home before actually reproducing the recipe in class. One of the requirements was that they had to complete the dish and clean up within the classroom period of 75 minutes. To cut down on the prep time, they were allowed to use Oven-Ready lasagna noodles. They managed to bake the lasagna at home in well under that time.

Colin, as usual was eager to taste test any food that comes out of our kitchen. He took his first bite and we heard the distinct crunching sound of very crisp pasta being eaten, much like the sound of potato chips being munched on. We waited for his opinion and he proclaimed that it tasted good. Success!!! Well, almost. What the boys learned from their dry run was that the lasagna noodles needed to be fully covered with sauce right to the edges and corners. Otherwise, the noodles around the edges comes out tasting very dry and crispy. Not an unpleasant texture, but definitely not desired in the final product, as it is being marked by the teacher. I must say the 2 boys did an excellent job. They managed to make a very good tasting Lasagna on their first attempt. Best of all, they cleaned up the mess afterwards.

So, tonight Derek decided to cook Lasagna for the family. Derek was the Chef and I was the Sous Chef. This time, we decided to use regular lasagna noodle (the kind that needs to be pre-boiled first instead of the "Oven-Ready" type) just to see if there would be a big difference. Of course, it took extra time, but we felt it was worth it because the texture came out perfectly. What I like about homemade lasagna as opposed to the frozen kind is that we can control what ingredients go into it. I find the frozen version, as with a lot of so called convenience food contains a lot of artificial ingredients and is very high in sodium. On top of that, it takes 80 to 100 minutes to bake it from frozen while it only took us about an hour or so to make it from scratch, even less time, if we were to use "Oven-Ready" lasagna noodle. Good Job, Derek! Looking forward to more family meals from our new Chef.

Derek pours the sauce over a layer of pasta while his friend grates mozarella cheese for the topping.

What a beautiful sight. The boys washing up.

The boys enjoying the fruit of their labour.

Here's Derek making the sauce.

Derek layering the sauce over the pasta.

Here I am lending a hand.

Ta da! 2 trays of Homemade Lasagna fresh from the oven.

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