Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cheesy Tomato Lasagna

Here is how I have been making lasagna for awhile. Since I started making my own dough I would never go back to buying lasagna sheets. The dough is easy to make and using a pasta machine makes it a breeze. There is no need to preboil the sheets when they are fresh and you can tell the difference in taste. I sometimes cheat and use ready-made marinara sauce but again if you make you own sauce it has much fresher taste.

The dough recipe is adapted from the recipe on the back of the Bob's Red Mill semolina package.

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina
1/4 to 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
4 tsp olive oil
4 tsp water
  1. Mix the dry ingredients and form a well in the middle.
  2. Add the egg and yolk and mix lightly.
  3. Drizzle the oil and the water and mix lightly again.
  4. Form into a bowl and start kneading, adding a little more water if the dough is too dry.
  5. Knead for 5-10 minutes. It should feel somewhat like play dough. 
  6. Let rest for 20 minutes and it is ready for use.
Tomato sauce

28oz canned tomatoes with juice
1 carrot, grated
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 gloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
3-4 T parsley, chopped
  1. Saute the vegetables in the olive oil.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes with their juices and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  3. Add the parsley.

3 eggs
16 oz ricotta cheese
14 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Mix the eggs with the ricotta, and add salt to taste.
  3. Spread a thin layer of sauce in a 13x9 inch pan (I like Pyrex).
  4. Divide the pasta dough in 4 equal pices.
  5. Take one piece of the dough and cut in 3. Roll each one in a long sheet. Layer over sauce, slightly overlapping.
  6. Spread some ricotta mixture and a quarter of the mozzarella. Spoon over tomato sauce.
  7. Repeat the layers until you get to the last one. The forth layer should only have tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and started to turn golden.

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