The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.
This is my second month belonging to an adventurous and enthusiastic group of bakers called The Daring Bakers. After a rather simple first challenge I was thoroughly excited about this month's recipe. It is a very different baking project, in fact it was one many of us wouldn't think of as in the category of "baking".
This group of bakers has a varied repertoire and that is one of the reasons I decided to join. I love to have an excuse to make new things, perhaps recipes I've always wanted to try but never got around to, or just a way to learn about a certain style of baking. While I've never been shy about daunting baking projects, the moral support of fellow Daring Bakers and plenty of people to offer tips and experiences makes it a fun affair. This month's challenge was a lasagne. Not just any lasagne though. A meat based lasagne with homemade spinach pasta. Well this was all new to me. Glad I'd signed up when I did!
I'd been feeling the desire to try my hand at handmade pasta for a while now. Until recently I've been satisfied with my sources of fresh made pasta, but I've been starting to see the advantages of making your own. The chance to be creative with flavourings and fillings is a great way to stay inspired in the kitchen.
Making your own pasta also saves money (pasta is relatively cheap to make) and allows you to enjoy a truly artisanal product. After all the homemade product is a world away from anything you can buy. And its so easy! A few weeks ago my friend Ruth must have read my mind because she suggested we both tackle some handmade ravioli. Perfect! A great way to get some practice in before the big challenge. After an extremely successful, not to mention delicious, butternut squash sage ravioli I was smitten with making pasta and ready to tackle more.