Posted by: lisetta | February 22, 2009

Variations on a lasagna

Whenever I cook the salmon-fennel lasagna, I think of my longtime friend Jeff, who first came up with the idea it many years ago. I didn’t realize until I got to his place this weekend that we were going to make the dish together, starting with the homemade pasta! 

Realized in making it with him that we do it in completely different ways! He wanted to make the homemade pasta with all white flour; I wanted durum. He braised the fennel in wine and lemon, I do it in butter and olive oil. He poached the salmon right with the fennel; I cook them separately. He uses frozen chopped spinach, I saute fresh baby spinach. His besciamella is thick like custard; mine’s more like heavy cream. He grinds black pepper in his; I grind nutmeg in mine. He’d pre-cook the lasagne noodles: I don’t bother (simply use more besciamella). He’d prefer the filling to texture the top of the lasagna; I’d like the smooth lines of the noodles. Most significantly: he uses ricotta, parmigiano and blended grated cheese in his layers; I’d never add cheese to the dish at all!

Here are a few videos of the assembly:

I’ve learned something: it really doesn’t matter. The lasagna we made was still delicious. I simply feel blessed to have lifelong friendships that survive a kitchen invasion….think I’d much prefer, though, to partner in the kitchen on a dish I don’t already know.

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