I always thought my lasagna was good until I had the best in, of all places, Costa Rica. It was served by a joyous man named Zeno. My lasagna is actually a "working woman" creation. I have timed myself while preparing it and can do it from start to finish in under an hour. That's not counting cooking time, of course!
Since I got back I've been haunted by the "perfect" lasagna. So, the best Bolognese trial began last week. The recipe which I will not include until it's perfected has many steps. Much chopping, sauteing and cooking time went into this project. Will it be worth it? Probably not! But, it's still the personal challenge I am willing to take on.
After cooking my sauce for most of one day and into the next, I constructed a baked version of penne pasta along with a bechamel sauce base. The Bolognese was mixed in with additional cheese and into the oven it went. My taste testers were summoned for their expert opinions. I have to say, appearance wise it looked great. My testers critiqued it. Some comments were, "It needs salt" "It could use more spice" and "It tastes pretty good to me". But, in my kitchen I am the deciding vote! I will not put more salt into it. Yes, it does need a little more spice in the way of Italian sausage and yes, it wasn't bad for my first try.
Now, some of you know that my mother-in-law is of Italian descent. I should just ask her how to make a good Bolognese sauce, right? Well, first of all she is not from that region and Italian cooking is very regional in their ways. And second? Well, I'll save that for the book. I have many wonderful stories to tell...