This is my Presto Pasta Night entry.
If you are like me, you don’t measure or write down when notes when you impulsively come up with a new recipe or food idea. That means you will struggle to repeat the wonderful tasty dish again. I made homemade lasagna, meaning fresh pasta noodles from scratch & fresh homemade sauce. right after Christmas. I had just bought my first pasta machine and had used it a few times but not for lasagna yet although there isn’t much of a difference in the process. You just don’t put it through the cutting rollers, only the first set.During my search for making fresh lasagna noodles, I found some great information but of course did not bookmark it or take notes. Bad bad bad. I usually have a photographic memory but it was failing me this time. So away I went, in search of a good recipe for lasagna noodles. I found what I was looking for, the difference is using some olive oil in the dough.
Here is my entry for Presto Pasta Nights #152, which is still open for collections.
1 recipe of fresh pasta dough:
2 cups semolina flour
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
Mix all using the standard method of adding salt to the flour in a large bowl, making a well in the center of the flour, and cracking the eggs into the center. Pour in the oil and slowly mix the eggs and oil until it’s all one color. Slowly incorporate all the flour by stirring around the bowl. Turn out onto a flat surface dusted with more semolina. Begin shaping and kneading until the dough is no longer sticky then continue to knead for about 5 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest at least 30 minutes. The olive oil is what makes this dough more pliable when working with semolina. That is the one tidbit of information I did not write down but knew I read it somewhere.
Cut off 1/4 of the dough, keeping the rest covered, and shape it into a rectangle. Be sure to use more semolina on the pasta machine and on the work surface. If the dough is sticky, dust it with flour. Set the machine at it’s widest setting and pass the dough through. Fold it over on itself and pass through again. Turn the dial to the next setting, getting thinner, and pass the dough through 2 times. Do this until you are at your 2nd lowest setting. You don’t want these noodles too thin. I assembled all my ingredients before I began rolling out the dough so I put the lasagna together as I made the noodles. I cut the dough into 3 X 13 inch strips, using 3 per layer. (I had extra dough leftover after using enough for 4 layers of noodles so I am saving that to make some fettucini in the next day or so. I had a request for homemade alfredo sauce.)
The cheese filling consisted of 1 pound of fresh ricotta cheese, 2 jumbo eggs, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley and 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly. I also used 4 cups total of shredded mozzarella cheese. I also used about 1 1/2 quarts of sauce.
Layering-noodles, ricotta mixture, mozzarella, then sauce. Top layer would be noodles, sauce then mozzarella and a little more grated parmesan.
Bake for about 1 hour in a 350 degree oven, covered. Remove cover in the last 5 min. so the cheese can get toasty and melty.
Here is the before baking picture, with all the cheesy goodness.
After the baking, sorry for the angle, the lighting was bad once the sun set. Like I said way back in the beginning of the blog, I am a cook, not a photographer.
PS. My husband told me, after eating his second helping of lasagna that the monthly meal at work today was, you guessed it, lasagna. Although he says that it was a pile of mush, nothing compared to mine. That was sweet of him. My lasagna did not fall apart, it stayed stacked on the plate. AND my 13 year old son, who doesn’t eat much red sauce, ate a piece as big as mine! Success!