The Il Palio restaurant at Chapel Hill’s Siena Hotel might be undergoing renovations, but that hasn’t stopped executive chef Teddy Diggs from keeping things fresh in the kitchen until it reopens in mid-September. Diggs spoke to senior writer Rachel Herzog about making the perfect lasagna and how college students can move beyond ramen noodles.
THE DAILY TAR HEEL: What’s your favorite dish to cook?
TEDDY DIGGS: It’s always changing. Right now, I really lose sleep with pleasure at night over this lasagna we’re making. The pasta layers are rolled very thin and there’s the traditional ragu, bolognese and besciamella, and it’s just layered for 50 layers. It’s rich, it’s everything you want it to be. It’s not like any lasagna you’ve ever had, but it will remind you of every lasagna you’ve had before.
DTH: Fifty layers? Really?
TD: Yeah! We try to get as many as we can, but the pan only fits about 50. When you’re talking about Italian cooking, it’s all about balancing ingredients. At a lot of places, you’ll see a three-layer lasagna, and the layers are like this thick, but there’s no balance, so our noodles are real paper-thin, the ragu is spotted out, the besciamella is just a thin layer and there’s no tomato sauce until we plate it. It’s a big lasagna, but each layer is paper-thin.