Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'm making a lasagna... for one

Oooo.... so I guess I haven't updated this in a while... my apologies to my beloved readers! (which as far as I know is just one person anyway)

So, yesterday was that crazy day where marketers convince females that it is mandatory that their partners purchase hefty gifts of chocolate dipped diamonds, else a cessation of all bodily contact will occur until further notice.

Being single and with Valentine's Day during Reading Week has its perks...
  1. I don't have to spend a bajillion dollars.
  2. I have lots of time.
  3. I have lots of time to watch plenty of Flight of the Conchords...

Which is why I decided to take my time and make a Lasagna for One! No idea what I'm talking about? Watch this...

It kinda fit the theme hahaha.... so I decided to make lasagna for dinner.
I figured someone out there must have made this lasagna already, so I searched and lo and behold, I found this site.

Problem is... there's no onions! That and I have no clue what an ounce is let alone 3 ounces of lasagna, nor did I know lasagna comes in ounces since they're always sold as fresh sheets or dried in a box. Anywho, I decided that I should develop my own version!
I had onions in it, had a meat sauce that is pretty tasty by itself, and added other variations just for kicks.

First the onions before caramelization...
Then the sauce...

Until it's like this, mix in the rest and then season...
Start layering!
Voila! Lone lasagna portion on a plate w/onions:
Tasty looking? Indeed it is! and I didn't have any extra sauce whatsoever, which was kinda cool.

Anyway, here's the recipe...

  • 2 lasagna noodles (dried... open up a box of standard size lasagna from the store and you'll see)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 of a medium sized onion, sliced and separated to strips
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder (eyeball it)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small carrot, finely diced
  • 1/2 stalk of celery, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning (parsley, basil, thyme, oregano mix)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of leftover jar/can pasta sauce
  • 1/4 ground beef
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
  • salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350C.
  2. Boil a small pot of water with the teaspoon of salt. Cook lasagna as per instructions until al dente. Drain, then chill by rinsing with cold water. Set aside.
  3. In a pan, put in olive oil, onions, baking soda, and star anise. Cook at medium-low heat (3-3.5), stiring occasionally until caramelized.
  4. Heat a separate pan to high heat, place ground beef into pan and quickly brown the outside of the beef. Work quickly and take care not to burn. Remove from pan and set aside.
  5. Drain most of the fat from beef browning leaving a teaspoon or so behind. Put in garlic, rosemary, celery and carrots and scrape pan to include the leftover meaty bits. Cook until carrots are done.
  6. Add caramelized onions and ground beef into veggies and mix.
  7. Pour in leftover pasta sauce, adding more if necessary. Add in Italian seasoning, and at medium-low heat, let sauce simmer until desired consistency is reached.
  8. Season, remove and set aside.
  9. Trim each cooked lasagna noodles into thirds, making sure all six sheets are of similar lengths.
  10. Oil a baking sheet, and layer in the following order: pasta, sauce, basil, cheese. Layer until all ingredients are used up.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and the surface is slightly browned.
  12. Serve on large plate, alone.

  • Most lasagna recipes says to start the bottom layer with sauce. I did it with lasagna instead because it makes the bottom layer delectably crispy as long as it's not burnt.
  • My lasagna had whole leaves of fresh basil instead of a chiffonade. That proved to be troublesome during consumption because the whole leaves would just come out and you end up having a big basil punch in one bite, then nothing anywhere else.
  • For added comedic effect, watch Flight of the Conchords and drink an airplane sized red wine while eating.