Meat Lasagna w/ Fresh Lasagna Noodles
Here it is, the meal that made me sit back and be happy I'm alive and can cook. I watched as my family devoured it. They loved it but for me, this was a "Babette's feast" moment when you know what you just tasted cannot be improved on by you or almost anyone else--a meal that is all from scratch, labor-intensive, and stunning with the first bite. My daughter and I made the pasta fresh in my food processor. Then we used my Kitchenaid stand mixer and the pasta attachment to roll the dough.
Here is a link on how to make fresh pasta for yourselves:
Lasagna Ingredients (by layers):
1-2 pounds hamburger
I large can tomato sauce
1-2 cups onion chopped
1-2 cloves fine sliced garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon basil
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic scape pesto
1 half chopped red roasted pepper
Sprinkle red pepper flakes
2 cups cottage cheese
1\2 cup Parmesan
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon parsley
Bechemel sauce - basic white sauce with a sprinkle of nutmeg
Noodles - I made fresh
Mozzarella cheese shredded (about 2 cups)
1. Brown onions
2. Add garlic
3. Add meat and cook till not pink anymore, drain excess fat
4. Add tomato sauce - I use whatever can sauce I have - I had my homemade
5. Add tomato paste ( I had homemade ) and all spices, salt to taste at the end
6. The cottage cheese and all spices and the Parmesan stir together for layering in one bowl.
7. Make a roux of milk, I used cream this time, and flour and butter, add a little nutmeg. This will be added as well between the layers.
8. Layer the lasagna. First meat, then noodles, then cottage cheese then the mozzarella cheese and then the bechamel. Three layers minimum.
Let the lasagna cook in the oven for at least 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
I was given this recipe in 1977 by a friend. I tinker with it but it's basically the same.
Here it is ready for the oven:
See the layers? The pasta is soft and pliable. The bechamel is thick. The final layer is parmesan shavings, mozzarella cheese, and some parsley sprinkled on top.
Here is the lasagna finished from the oven. I waited till it cooled a little and sliced it into portions before taking it to the table.
As I have said, Italian food or any derivatives of Italian food is heaven on a plate. It allows me to use all my homemade tomato sauces. All 100 pounds of labor to make the sauces is worth it in every bite. Next year 200 pounds!
~ Hugs from Mum