May 23, 2024

Get ready to unleash your inner chef with AppleTV+’s “Lessons in Chemistry” and learn how to make the perfect lasagna.

Adapted from the Bonnie Garmus novel, Brie Larson plays Elizabeth Zott, a scientist turned cooking show host. And for the 1950s, she is a woman well ahead of her time who stands up to the men and system that oppress her. In the series, Elizabeth perfects the art of making lasagna. It is also the first dish Calvin (Lewis Pullman) tastes and their romance blooms. Behind the scenes, food consultant Courtney McBroom assisted every step of the way to ensure the food looked mouthwatering to audiences.

In the opening moments of the first episode, Elizabeth tells the studio audience she is going to make a lasagna. “We put a lot of thought into that scene. Which parts of the lasagna did we want to see being made, which were the prettiest parts we wanted to showcase,” says McBroom.

Every possible part of the lasagna-making process from the carrots, onion and garlic were laid out raw. In another step, the vegetables were cooked. Similarly, for the meat, McBroom laid out the stages from raw meat to meat and tomato sauce, to the meat being cooked with the sauce. She adds, “We had every possible option to switch out, that way no one would have to wait between takes.”

When Elizabeth brings lasagna to work and Calvin tries it for the first time, McBroom stood behind the camera watching as Sarah Adina Smith directed Larson as she puts the components together, layering the noodles and adding a sauce.

The recipe used in the series is McBroom’s personal favorite. “I cook it all the time,” she says.

She chose to include ricotta as well as the bechamel sauce – ricotta and mozzarella are typically used in Southern Italian lasagna recipes, whereas Northern Italian recipes will use bechamel and Parmigiano Reggiano. McBroom answers, “That’s a nod to the ‘50s lasagna. The one I cook at home doesn’t typically have ricotta.”

McBroom says lasagna was the perfect dish to serve because it was a symbol of Elizabeth. “It has all these layers. It’s a reflection of the way she approaches herself. She’s always trying to build herself into something better and trying to be perfect.

And what is the secret to making a good lasagna? The answer lies in the layering. “I like to do a bunch of layers with a little bit of sauce in between. I like to get thin layers, not thick. The ideal version is to make your own pasta and get it as thin as possible,” advises McBroom.

Here’s how to make the perfect lasagna as seen on the show.

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