We’ve all heard of the many ways to use up stale bread- toast, breadcrumbs, bread pudding, soup thickeners, croutons… But the other day I came up with a new use that I think is pretty darn cool.
I wanted to make a lasagna. I had all the ingredients on hand, pre-made and ready to go- sauce had been simmered to perfection, meat browned, ricotta cheese mixture made, box of pasta waiting to be boiled… then I looked on my countertop and saw that half loaf of Italian bread sitting there from a few days before. Just…staring at me.
Hmm….what if…? So I made my lasagna as usual, but instead of using lasagna noodles or pasta sheets, I just layered slices of the stale bread. It was so good! Like a strata, but without a custard and made with all the ingredients and layers that a traditional lasagna has. It was so easy too! No boiling and draining sticky noodles, just slicing some bread. The bread soaks up the sauce, just as it would in a strata, so you get that comforting softness, and delightfully mushiness throughout the layers, plus the toastiness of the bread on top as it bakes… It’s a great combo of textures.
And the possibilities are endless- white lasagna, veggie lasagna, lasagna bolognese (which is what I did). I really felt good about the fact that I didn’t let anything go to waste for that meal.
So, that’s it for today. Nothing fancy, just something you may not have thought of before!
It’s fun being creative in the kitchen- you never know how good an idea can turn out until you give it a shot! We can all get stuck in food ruts, making the same thing over and over again, in the same way, but remember that playing with your food is not only ok around here, it’s heavily encouraged!!
And sometimes you’ve just gotta take the time to think outside the pasta box.