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.
I have to admit that I wasn’t too sure about this challenge – savoury baking? What?! But I was intrigued by attempting to make my own noodles and it actually turned out to be a fairly relaxed challenge. Mostly because lasagna is a fairly forgiving product – it doesn’t matter if your noodles tear or if things are lumpy, there’s really not much you can do that makes it taste bad and it’s not really a high-design product (though I’m sure if you click through the other Daring Baker blogs, you’ll find some gorgeous representations – Tartelette, I’m looking at you!). I totally cheated and waited until the next day when we were eating it as leftovers and it was cold from the fridge to photograph it, allowing me to show the layers – otherwise, it was exactly as the recipe warned us – very slippery and unsturdy.
It was not nearly as tricky as I thought it would be – I was particularly intimidated by the rolling/stretching instructions. I knew that the noodles had to be very, very thin and I wasn’t sure if, without a noodle machine, I had the ability (or the patience) to pull it off. But I did! The ragu turned out very tasty – we weren’t provided with a veggie version, so I just Googled and used this one instead (no, I don’t know what you’re supposed to do with the other 4T of butter or the 4T of olive oil…). My bechamel worked, too – in fact, all of the elements came together very nicely.
But I’m not sure I liked it. I think it was just a bit too rich for me – and there’s something in there that’s sort of sweet as an afterthought and I’m not sure what it is, but I find it a little unsettling. But that may just be me – my mom particularly liked it (my dad doesn’t like mushrooms, so his opinion doesn’t really count). So, yes, a successful, though probably not to be repeated challenge.
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p.s. – Hopefully the next Daring Bakers challenge will be completed in my newly remodeled kitchen – cross your fingers for me!