Lasagna happens to be one of my favorite dishes. It is hard to resist those steamy, gooey layers of tender pasta, tangy-sweet-tomato-y sauce, and rich, mild cheese. When made with fresh pasta (which I showed you how to make yesterday) it is out of this world.
When we had goats I made my own ricotta and once in awhile even the mozzarella – but that was a few years ago. The point is that the more fresh ingredients you toss in there the better it is going to be. Fresh basil, fresh pasta, a good quality ricotta cheese… well that is the foundation for a perfect dinner.
I love Alfredo sauce. It is rich and cheesy – and totally different from the usual tomato based sauces served with pasta. If all you have ever had is the stuff out of a can then you really don’t know what Alfredo sauce tastes like. Well, you are about to find out. It is a simple to make, cream based sauce that goes together almost as quickly as you can get the jar open. The ingredients are not exotic – you probably have most of them in the house.
Since you are (I hope) going to try making your own pasta with the homemade pasta recipe I posted yesterday go ahead and make the Alfredo, too. You won’t believe the difference. Commercial sauces are usually much too salty and bland. I am not sure how they achieve that salty blandness but they do! I figure they have specially talented tasters that own stock in salt mines somewhere. Really.
In any case there is a difference, and don’t just take my word for it. Make the sauce one evening, after dinner when you are cleaning the kitchen. Make the pasta the next day and store it in the fridge.
Then all you have to do is put everything together and bake it on the day you want to serve the lasagna. You can also make it all on one day – even if you are really slow it won’t take you more than a couple of hours.
The flavor of this dish is dependent on the freshness and delicacy of the ingredients as well as the seasoning on the chicken. I like grilled chicken for this recipe but you can brown it in a frying pan in a little olive oil and finish it in the oven if you don’t want to grill. Just be sure to use salt and pepper, and maybe some oregano, basil, and thyme. Americans have gotten used to food that is over-salted and under-seasoned… and that is sad. Learn to use a variety of herbs and spices rather than so much salt. It may be a little unfamiliar at first but you develop new taste buds about every thirty days so it won’t take long before you learn to enjoy how food really tastes.
End sermon. For now.