Making lasagna is so easy these days since I discovered the oven ready noodles. Sauce, noodle, cheese, sauce, noodle, cheese until all ingredients are gone and the pan is full, covered, and popped into the oven. I love those noodles, they make the dish such a snap to put together; much less time consuming! As I baked a pan the other evening after returning from the supermarket, my mind did a little time travel while I puttered around the kitchen putting away groceries, making salad, and unloading the dishwasher.
It was somewhere around 1977 and I was in my friend’s kitchen with her dicing mozzarella cheese. Bubbling on the stove was a big pot of water just waiting for lasagna noodles to be added. As the steam rose my friend Cathy dropped in the curly edged sheets of pasta and stirred it with a big spoon. We were chattering away about how much our boyfriends were going to like the dinner we were making. We had walked to the Acme down the street from her house to buy the ingredients and were now in the middle of my first foray into cooking without an adult around. I think we had overestimated how much we’d need, or else there was no large pan available to us because I recall layering ingredients in round cake pans and square pans of different sizes. It seemed like we had pans of lasagna all over the place. It must have been quite cheesy because I remember dicing a lot of the mozzarella cheese. I guess it didn’t occur to us to use a grater. As I reflected, I couldn’t recall actually eating the food, I’m sure we must have, and I don’t know which boyfriends it was. I just remember we had fun, made what seems like large quantities of lasagna, and dicing all that cheese with a little paring knife.
I’m still good friends with Cathy, and although we no longer live close enough to cook together, we do exchange letters, cards, e-mails and texts regularly. I don’t know if she remembers our lasagna cooking day, perhaps she’ll leave a comment when she reads this post.
So now that you’re craving lasagna, go get some of those oven ready noodles and whip up a pan! Enjoy!