By Dwayne Ridgaway
Ridgaway is a graduate of the thoroughgoing culinary school, Johnson & Wales, at its original campus in Providence, Rhode Island. The author embraces the “lasagna theory” most for its structural basics, those pasta support beams, dividers or petitions before you repeat the same layering. He also gets into other petitions which support his delicate layering principles. He does some fine thinking with his layering.
These are not your everyday canned raviolis “con ricotta.” The author’s colorful Contents read horizontally across two pages are accented with beautifully orchestrated photography and food styling:
Introduction – Layer upon Layer of History
Chapter 1 – Lasagna-Making basics
Chapter 2 – Classic Lasagna
Chapter 3 – Lasagna Around the World
Chapter 4 – Vegetarian and Lighter Lasagna
Chapter 5 – Breakfast Lasagna
Chapter 6 – Dessert Lasagna
Chapter 7 – A Few Key Recipes are located in the back of the book. These are Ridgaway’s sauces, a pesto and pizza dough, the keys which make the layering work.
In his housekeeping notes, Ridgaway offers two bits of advice regarding “No-boil Lasagna Noodles.” First, he states this kind of noodle should be made fron 100% semolina. Second, this type of noodle requires a little additional liquid to keep the dish from tasting dry. When it comes to tomatoes, he prefers Italian imported labels, preferably those found in an Italian market.
His creations run from the very basic to the innovative:
Polenta Lasagna with Linguica and Swiss Chard
(Here slabs of polenta are used as horizontal dividers for layer ingredients.)
Buffalo Chicken Lasagna
Mexican Black Bean Lasagna
(Here he uses corn tortillas to support layering)
Thai Lasagna with Stir-Fried Vegetables and Curried Tofu
Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna Roulades with Gorgonzola Cream
(In this dish, layered ingredients are spread on a single lasagna noodle then rolled, jelly-roll fashion for circular layering.)
French Toast Lasagna with Banana-Walnut Compote
(The toast supports the layers for this breakfast lasagna.)
(Ridgaway sees this classic Greek dessert as a layered lasagna using phyllo pastry to support the sweet sauce, walnuts and pecans.)
The crown in Ridgaway’s dessert Lasagna is:
Fried Pasta with Chocolate Ganache and Ice Cream
(The horizontal supports are boiled, fried lasagna noodles sprinkled with a cinnamon-sugar mixture. The layering mixture includes pecans and walnuts.) The book’s basic sauces are some a good cook will probably use with other dishes – maybe prepare in double portions.