Get ready to unleash your inner chef and learn how to make the perfect lasagna with Chemistry Lesson on AppleTV+.
Based on the novel by Bonnie Garmes, Brie Larson stars as Elizabeth Zoot, a scientist turned cooking show host. In the 1950s, she was a woman far ahead of her time, standing up to the men and systems that oppressed her. In the series, Elizabeth perfects the art of lasagna-making. It’s also the first dish Calvin (Louis Pullman) tastes, and their romance blossoms. Behind the scenes, food consultant Courtney McBroom helps ensure the food is mouth-watering.
At the beginning of the first episode, Elizabeth tells the studio audience that she’s going to make lasagna. “We put a lot of thought into that scene. Which parts of the lasagna we wanted to see cooked out and which were the prettiest parts we wanted to show,” McBroom said.
Every possible part of the lasagna making process, including the carrots, onions, and garlic, is raw. In another step, the vegetables are cooked. Likewise, for meat, McBroom lists the stages from raw meat, to meat and tomato sauce, to cooking the meat in the sauce. She added, “We have every possible option to switch so no one has to wait between takes.”
When Elizabeth brings the lasagna to work and Calvin tries it for the first time, McBroom stands behind the camera and watches as Sarah Adina Smith guides Larson in putting the pieces together , layer the noodles and add the sauce.
The recipes used in the series are McBroom’s personal favorites. “I always cook,” she said.
She chose to add ricotta and bechamel sauce—ricotta and mozzarella are often used in southern Italian lasagna recipes, while northern Italian recipes use bechamel and parmesan cheese. McBroom responded: “It’s a nod to the lasagna of the ’50s. The dishes I cook at home usually don’t have ricotta.”
McBroom said lasagna was the perfect dish because it is a symbol of Elizabeth. “It has all these layers. It reflects the way she treats herself. She’s always trying to better herself and trying to be perfect.
What’s the secret to a delicious lasagna? The answer lies in layering. “I like to make a bunch of layers with a little sauce in the middle. I like thin layers, not thick ones. The ideal version is to make your own pasta and make it as thin as possible,” McBroom suggests.
Here’s how to make the perfect lasagna seen on the show.