Homemade Lasagna with Fresh Pasta ( yes you can do it!)

Man it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. I figured my pinning addiction on pinterest is getting [wildly] out of control so maybe I should actually write a blog.

I have made so many cool and delish (if that’s not a word it should be) meals, but one that stands out to me is my home-made lasagna!

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I purchased a pasta maker off of amazon last summer, and it is definetly a great investment if you love pasta! It was only about 50 dollars and it makes pasta that can’t compare to the dried stuff.

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Wanna know something funny? I hate lasagna.

Okay well you know when you buy a frozen lasanga and it’s all watery and honestly ain’t nobody got time for that. You deserve more, okay??

However I knew I would love this lasagna because:

a) it’s meat free

b) it has home-made pasta

c) it has obscene amounts of cheese

d) no other reasons have to be given after cheese

Anyways I made this for my sisters bachlorette party and it was a huge hit, and I ended making it a couple times after that. I  recently made it this weekend, on Friday night.

I know it may seem overwhelming to make a homemade lasanga with fresh pasta, but really it just consists of three steps: cheese filling, sauce and pasta. I make my own sauce but it’s up to you I just like the flavour more!

Okay let’s go!

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First thing is first lets make a sauce. An Italian told me once : don’t complicate your sauce! Keep it simple and let the ingredients speak. Start off by dicing one sweet onion, you can use your food processor ( mine is broken- single tear). As well as 2 or 3 tbsp of garlic. Toss them in a medium sized saucepan with a couple swigs of olive oil. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.

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Add one can of tomato paste as well as 2 tablespoons sun dried tomato paste. Cooking tomato paste first before adding the rest of the ingredients allows the paste of develop the flavour. Cook it on medium for another 5-7 minutes.

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Add two cans of diced tomatoes and purée one with an immersion blender or just buy one can of  crushed tomatoes.

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Look at those skills.

Dump both cans into the pot. Add fresh basil ( or dried). A tablespoon of sugar, two tablespoons of parmesan cheese. As well as salt and pepper to taste. That’s it. Turn it up to high until it boils, then put it on low and cover. I let mine normally cook for about an hour, so I make the sauce that first.

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Next up the pasta! Homemade pasta only consists of two ingredients: eggs and flour. You can make the pasta in a large bowl or I have a large wooden cutting block it works great! Add 2 cups of flour to your bowl or cutting block.

Make a well in the center with the flour, essentially make a dungeon for your eggs so they won’t get out ( see cooking is fun)

IMG_2014 IMG_2015Then crack 4 room temp eggs in a bowl and whisk together until combined. Add eggs to the in the middle of the flour.

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Using your fork or your finger slowly add the flour to the eggs and mix together with a fork. Take flour from the outside rim first especially if you’re on a cutting board. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (don’t worry if it looks messy). Dough will come together once half the flour is incorporated.

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Once it is incorporated to look something like this, start using your hands to gather all the dough together.

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Now onto kneading the dough. If you have a kitchen aid stand mixer with the kneading attachment you can use that! However I just use my hands.

Knead dough using both hands, primarily using your palms. Add more flour if dough is very sticky. Once dough is formed, lift it from the board and scrape up any leftover dry bits. Lightly flour board, and continue kneading dough for 3 minutes more. (Dough should be elastic and slightly sticky.)

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Then separate in half and cover in saran wrap for at least 20 minutes( do not refrigerate)

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Third element cheese! Combine one pound of ricotta, one egg, 1/8 tsp of nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Season with pepper. Coarsely grate 1/2 of the mozzarella, stir into ricotta mixture. Using your fingers, shred remaining mozzarella into 2-inch strips, and reserve.

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At this time take your sauce off the burner and let cool. 

Okay now time to roll out the pasta. Sprinkle flour on your board and flatten dough a bit. Pass 1 piece of dough through the rollers of a pasta machine set on the widest setting, using one hand to guide it and prevent it from folding or rippling. Fold sheet of dough neatly into thirds, then pass it through the rollers again.

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( Yes i’m cooking in a dress, it’s the best)

Continue passing dough through widest setting, sprinkling flour on both sides of dough each time to prevent it from sticking to itself, until it is silky and smooth. Pass dough through next widest setting twice, flouring both sides of dough each time. Repeat, reducing each setting, and running dough through twice on each until you reach the thinnest setting, and transfer to a baking sheet. Cut out two 8-by-21-inch sheets and twelve 13-inch-long sheets. I use scissors to cut the pasta once I have the sheets thin enough, it’s the easiest method. Also you might need some helping hands!

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Smile because carbs are the best.

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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook 2 or 3 sheets at a time, plus any scraps, for minute. Drain and rinse with cold water, and transfer to a couple of sheets of paper towels and let drain for a few minutes. Pat sheets dry with paper towels. I normally set up a station ( I’m quite impressed with myself actually)

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After you have cooked all of your sheets you can assemble your lasagna! Spread 1/2 cup marinara in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place a layer of noodles over marinara. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over noodles, and sprinkle with 1/3 of the Parmesan. Place a layer of noodles over the cheese layer. Spread 1 cup marinara over noodles. Repeat layering (noodles, marinara, noodles, ricotta mixture, Parmesan) 2 more times. Spread remaining marinara over cheese layer, then sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. I added some tomatoes on top because I’m fancy.

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I covered mine in foil and set in the fridge since I was cooking it the next day, but you can cook it right away or even freeze it! However if you are cooking it place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until cheese is golden brown and sauce is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

You did it! or at least you read this post…

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Oh yeah and my mom made the most amazing pie and butter tarts. Hallelujah.

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Pasta

4 eggs

Instructions:

STEP 1

Mound flour on a large wooden cutting board or in a large mixing bowl. Beat eggs in a bowl then, make a well in the center, and add eggs. Beat flour and eggs with a fork, starting with the inner rim of the well, to incorporate. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (don’t worry if it looks messy). Dough will come together once half the flour is incorporated.

STEP 2

Knead dough using both hands, primarily using your palms. Add more flour if dough is very sticky. Once dough is formed, lift it from the board and scrape up any leftover dry bits. Lightly flour board, and continue kneading dough for 3 minutes more. (Dough should be elastic and slightly sticky.)

STEP 3

Continue kneading dough for 3 minutes more, dusting board with flour if needed. (Dough should be smooth and elastic.) Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes

STEP 4

Divide dough, flatten each using your palm or a rolling pin, and flour both sides of each piece. Pass 1 piece of dough through the rollers of a pasta machine set on the widest setting, using one hand to guide it and prevent it from folding or rippling. Fold sheet of dough neatly into thirds, then pass it through the rollers again.

STEP 5

Continue passing dough through widest setting, sprinkling flour on both sides of dough each time to prevent it from sticking to itself, until it is silky and smooth. Pass dough through next widest setting twice, flouring both sides of dough each time. Repeat, reducing each setting, and running dough through twice on each until you reach the thinnest setting, and transfer to a baking sheet. Cut out two 8-by-21-inch sheets and twelve 13-inch-long sheets.

STEP 6

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook 2 or 3 sheets at a time, plus any scraps, for 1 minute. Drain, and transfer to a paper towel, and let drain for a few minutes. Pat sheets dry with paper towels.

Lasagna

INGREDIENTS

 1  Pound whole-milk ricotta cheese

 1 large egg

 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

 Freshly ground pepper

 1 Pound fresh mozzarella

 Marinara Sauce ( garlic, onion, tomato paste,sun dried tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil and parmesan cheese)

 Fresh Lasagna Noodles ( recipe above) 

 5 ounces coarsely grated Parmesan cheese, (about 1 3/4 cups)

DIRECTIONS

STEP 1

Preheat oven to 375. Combine ricotta, egg, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Season with pepper. Coarsely grate 1/2 of the mozzarella, and stir into ricotta mixture. Using your fingers, shred remaining mozzarella into 2-inch strips, and reserve.

STEP 2

Spread 1/2 cup marinara in a 9-by-13 inch baking dish. Place a layer of noodles over marinara. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over noodles, and sprinkle with 1/3 of the Parmesan. Place a layer of noodles over the cheese layer. Spread 1 cup marinara over noodles. Repeat layering (noodles, marinara, noodles, ricotta mixture, Parmesan) 2 more times. Spread remaining marinara over cheese layer, then sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.

 STEP 3

Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until cheese is golden brown and sauce is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Thanks for reading & enjoy,

Sarah

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