Sunday, June 21

The lasagna love affair


I think Lasagna is one of those meals that comforts the soul. It's pasta-ry and cheesy and mine's a little bacon-y too.

Since I've been making my own pasta in as far as ravioli, tortellini and fettucine it seemed ridiculous that I wasn't making my own lasagne sheets, I mean, it's seriously what you start with before it becomes the other stuff anyway!

So the first step is making the Bolognaise sauce. I make this the day before in the slow cooker. The bolognaise I make for my lasagna is a little different to if I were using it with another pasta:

I don't have onion in it.
I make it a little more 'liquid-y'.
Why? Because it's a bit more softer texture without the onion and when you bake your lasagne, it doesn't dry out.

So to about 400ml of my passata (or any passata you buy in a jar if you like/pasta sauce if you must!) add 2x 425gr cans diced or peeled tomatoes, a good slosh of red wine and if you there's no garlic, basil, or oregano in your passata or pasta sauce, add some of that too. Those trying to sneak in veges to their kids could try some finely diced carrot and peas. Then add 600 grams RAW mince into the slow cooker and mix well. Put on high/auto for about 6-8 hours. Let cool and put into container and store in fridge overnight. The makes the sauce intensify beautifully. Also those watching the scales can skim off any fat when it has fully cooled.

So the next day you want to make a batch of pasta - you can find my recipe here. Don't roll it out yet...

I use two smallish casserole dishes - this does us two dinners, but you may choose to use a big lamington tray or casserole dish.

You'll need a few more ingredients in your line up:
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups tasty cheese
4 rashers of bacon - roughly chopped.

Line the tray with a little olive oil and a spoon on some bolognaise just to cover the bottom.


Then roll out your pasta. I roll mine 3 times through size 7 first (the largest setting) to get the gluten working properly in your pasta. Then ensuring you flour the dough liberally each time you pass it through, I then pass it through size 4, then finally size 2. So it's thinnish.

Layer pasta sheets over the bolognaise, then layer as follows until you get the the top of your casserole dish:
asta sheet, bologanise, sprinkle of each cheese, bacon, then salt/pepper if you wish.

Now your pasta sheets don't have to match up perfectly, so patchwork pasta is fine, just as long as there's a layer - no -one will be looking for anything pretty when eating it. Roll your pasta as you go the layer and when you get to the top layer I don't put any bolognaise on the top, just cheese and bacon - (a little more cheese so it covers the top) and if I have more pasta than I expect I put it on the top in size 4 layer - it goes crunchy and yummy. My favourite part of the lasagne truth be told.

Put it in the oven at 200 degrees for about half an hour -45 mins. Can be served cold and freezes beautifully in your casserole dish - cover with aluminium foil and then cling film and put in the freezer - defrost in the fridge the night before you wantto serve and just remove the cling film and reheat with aluminium foil on. I personally wouldn't freeze it or store it uncooked. The gluten in the flour would go globby and the texture wouldn't be at all good I believe!
It might seem like a lot of trouble, but once you do it once, you'll do it again and again. It takes me about 1.5 hours from beginning to end of cleaning/cooking. And the taste? You'll never buy those dried lasagna sheets again!!

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1 lovely comments:

Lily Mulholland on February 20, 2011 at 1:09 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

*ahem* mouth is now watering! Gosh, I've never made lasagne sheets (and don't have a pasta maker), but I can see it in my future :)

Today we are having leftover chilli con carne from the double slow-cooked batch I made last week ;)

Today I baked cheesymite scrolls and Anzac slice for the kids' lunches. It's definitely a day for baking!


 

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