When I was younger – like teenager younger – I loved making manicotti and lasagna for my family. I would always follow the recipe on the box of noodles. This was pre-internet days. I know, ancient times.
Well, I don’t make lasagna and manicotti that often anymore because a) majority of my children won’t eat it b) it is time consuming to do it right and c) I lack all self control when it is in the house. It becomes breakfast, lunch and dinner until it is gone.
However, there was a Sunday afternoon that of course was too cold to take the kids out in, and Gabe was home and it was shaping up to be a lazy day in. I pounced. This was lasagna making time.
The other inspiration? Emilie has become obsessed with Garfield cartoon and it lodged the idea of lasagna in my head after multiple viewings of it.
Anyhow, this is the first time I am providing just a link to a recipe – because this one, from Food and Wine, is absolutely perfect. I follow it to the letter almost every time I make it. The only change I did this time was because of a shopping error. Forgot to get ground sirloin so I added several handfuls of (defrosted) frozen spinach that I keep in the freezer to fill that gap. Will keep that change when I make this again – it was possibly the only tweak that could have made it better.
It took me about 2 hours start to finish. This is not something you will want to start at 530pm on a weeknight. I did involve the kids in helping layer it, with the hopes that would entice them to try it. Emilie tried the smallest piece possible and said it was really good but didn’t want any more. Matty, who would have crushed it, passed out on the living room floor before dinner and never woke up until the next morning. Will – wouldn’t go near it. No surprise.
But Gabe and I basked in the glory that is a perfect, well balance, cheesy and meaty lasagna. It was worth every minute I put into making it.