The origin of National Lasagna Day has not been officially documented. However, that’s not stopping me from sharing a couple of thoughtful pinches with you. After all, the whole premise of my blog is to remind people that we are all thoughtful. Sometimes we just need inspiration to show it. Many of us already show our thoughtfulness when we bring someone food or feed them, right? That’s not a new idea or concept and giving someone food is not difficult to do. As the saying goes,”The way to someone’s heart is through their stomach.” Giving someone lasagna is a great thoughtful pinch.
When I was living with a fellow vegetarian, a.k.a. one of my besties, she made a lasagna that was out of this world. What I really liked about her lasagna was that even though it was vegetarian, the skeptical meat eater was still able to enjoy it. And even better, it was a satisfying meal. I have since made her lasagna for so many occasions like to give to moms who just had a baby, for a sick friend, to impress my boyfriend’s mom, to get the best meal for the lowest cost when I was a struggling financially in Chicago and to console friends who lost a loved one. The recipe in itself was a thoughtful pinch that was passed along to me. But when I make a pan of this lasagna for someone, it’s like that thoughtful pinch is multiplying. I’m never surprised when people ask me for the recipe. It’s so gratifying when I get to pass it along. Like it’s a badge of honor. Or a validation that we’re doing something right.
This other lasagna recipe is a diamond in the rough. Thank you Trader Joe’s. I stumbled upon it many years ago and what I love about this recipe is that the whole family eats it up. Yes, adults and kids all eating one common entree! Again, I have made this lasagna for many occasions but I mostly make it for new moms that have other kids in the family. It’s a crowd pleaser. When my sister-in-law had her first baby (my nephew is now 5.5 yrs), I taught my brother how to make this lasagna and I made him promise me not to give his wife the recipe. I wasn’t keeping the recipe a secret because I was being selfish. Quite the opposite. What I wanted was for my brother to be the only one to make this meal so that my sister-in-law could get a break from cooking at least one meal for the family. Sort of like how I fake that I don’t know how to use a grill just so that my hub is the only one that cooks on grill nights. I’m not sure if my brother kept my secret but I consider the gesture a thoughtful pinch.
You may have heard this story before but it’s worth repeating. When my friend Paige made me a nice lasagna after giving birth to my daughter, I thought I had hit the jackpot. The food filled my stomach and it warmed my heart knowing that I had friends who had my back. She knew my road would be rough for a few weeks and the lasagna was a true gift. So naturally, after another friend had a baby, a little over a year later, I wanted to be like Paige and bring over a lasagna. I must have been in a fog because the recipe I chose was very complicated, it had too many onions and it was not very good at all. I felt bad that I still had to bring it to her but I also included a big pan of “Over the Rainbow” mac and cheese. I knew her kids were not going to touch the lasagna and so I figured if I made their mom’s recipe of mac and cheese, at least they would eat something. Talk about a lot of work! Now you know why I love the Trader Joe’s recipe so much. It’s a two for one lasagna.
This Saturday, July 29th, celebrate National Lasagna Day. Bring a pan of your favorite lasagna to someone who needs a pinch. Or skip the kitchen and just go to an Italian restaurant to get a big slice. Or do what I’m doing - share your favorite recipes with a few hundred of your followers on social media. Be sure to take pictures of your lasagna celebration and add #nationallasagnaday to make it official. FYI, the word lasagna, in the past, only referred to the pot or pan that was being used. But now lasagna refers to the type of dish or entree. The possibilities for lasagna are endless! Buon appetito!