Kitchen Mishap #1!
I was home alone the other night and decided I would prepare a lasagna to bake the following night for dinner since I had what I thought to be all of the necessary components. I was going to use Trader Joe’s Vodka Sauce in place of homemade gravy (yes gravy as us Italians refer to it, not pasta sauce) and add in some spinach and mushrooms. My grandma would die if she knew I was using a bottled ‘sauce’ but this was not going to be a truly traditional lasagna nor did I have 6 hours to home make it and let it simmer all day! So I boiled the noodles until al dente, sauteed mushrooms and spinach in olive oil and garlic, made my ricotta and parmesan mixture and was ready to begin assembling my masterpiece! That was until I opened the bottle of vodka sauce, only to find out it had gone bad before I was able to use it! With no sauce, it is nearly impossible to make a lasagna! I searched my cabinets for anything I could use to make a generic, quick substitute for gravy. All I had was a can of tomato sauce and two cans of diced tomatoes. I decided that instead of letting all I had already prepared go to waste, I was going to give it a whirl!
Here it goes I thought as I sauteed some chopped onions and garlic in olive oil until they were soft and then threw in the can of tomato sauce and two cans of diced tomatoes. I added a few bay leaves, some fresh basil and parsley, salt, pepper and a dash of red pepper flakes. I also added a splash of red wine and let it simmer for as long as I could before heading to bed, which only ended up being about a half hour! I didn’t want to taste the sauce before creating the lasagna for fear it was not going to be good and I’d consider this epic failure #1! So I ladled some sauce into a 9X13 pan, layered noodles on top of it, added the ricotta mixture and some mozzarella, another layer of sauce and noodles, then the sauteed mushrooms and spinach with more mozzarella and lastly, another layer of noodles and sauce and topped it mozzarella and grated parmesan. I covered it and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
Being a newlywed (our wedding was May 14th), I didn’t want to tell my husband about my little mishap and put him in the mindset that it was going to be terrible and that his Italian wife can’t even make a lasagna! This Susie homemaker thing is still new and exciting for me, I didn’t want to fail this early on! I brainstormed different ways to make things go better than anticipated and even toyed with the idea of opening multiple bottles of red wine with dinner, hoping that he would then forget if it wasn’t quite as delicious as I hoped! Bad idea since we both had to work the next morning, so it dawned on me to end the meal with something I know would be super delicious! I decided to whip up homemade fudge brownies and top with them with Nutella and dark chocolate ice cream! I knew this would definitely overshadow any bad dinner! As it turned out, the lasagna was fairly tasty, not my best work by any means and my grandma would probably have scoffed at it, however it was edible and we enjoyed it…him more than I but that’s what it’s all about!