"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

The daily bad: one-layer lasagna

by Julie Tilsner on October 16, 2009

in Good Ideas Gone Bad

Cricket I finally made a passable lasagna. But I still have a sauce problem.

As in, why do I always run out of sauce way before I run out of cheese? In reading through the lasagna-making canon on the internets, I've never come across this particular problem. Which leads me to believe it's my problem. Indeed, if I re-examine my entire lasagna-making history, I have run short of sauce every. Single. Time.

But is it my bad really? I winged the last meat-sauce, but it was based on solid numbers culled from a dozen other lasagna recipes: 1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes with juice and one 8-ounce can of tomato sauce.

This last lasagna, however, came up so short I had to rename the dish: Welcome to the first ever one-layer lasagna.

I simmered that meat sauce for an hour. It had mushrooms, carrots, juicy chunks of ground beef — it was a real taste sensation.

All was going uncharacteristically well until It came time to assemble the lasagna. I laid out the first layer of noodles, followed by the meat sauce layer. I could already see I was playing with borrowed time, so I tried to make this layer as thin as possible. Then I dished out the ricotta cheese (which I seemed to have plenty of); then Parmesan, then another thin layer of meat sauce. And then I knew my fate.

There was only enough meat sauce left over to cover one of the next layer of noodles. Even using a spatula to scrape together the final saucy dregs.

I hoped the cheese and meat sauce underneath would help cook the top layer. It was my only hope, in fact.

But it didnt work out that way. "Think of these as crispy lasagna chips," I said lamely, serving a dish to the flamenco guitarist. "Isn't that interesting? They're crispy."

"So are deep-fried crickets," he said.

But he ate it anyway. And praised the one layer there was. Good self-preservation instinct that one has.

Lesson learned: Next time, I double the meat sauce recipe. No telling what I'll run out of then.

Stay tuned.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Marisa Mendoza (a.k.a. the neighbor) October 16, 2009 at 11:29 am

Lol! I told you- I have the same crunchy experience!!! No one eats from the perimeter of the lasagna dish, ever.


Connie October 18, 2009 at 7:04 pm

LOL One good layer is still better than three bad ones.
I missed reading your blog. One of my broadband providers (the only one left functioning after the Ketsana tragedy) seems to be blocking certain URLs. 🙁


jan October 19, 2009 at 8:20 am

I try to make too much sauce, because excess can be frozen for later. (next time there’s not enough, you’ll have some extra stashed to make up the deficit. ‘Mom-conomics’)


ATriana October 23, 2009 at 2:20 pm

..but I love deep fried crickets!!


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