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Saturday, March 12, 2011


Ever since my first and second attempts at making my own pasta, I've been wanting to try tomato sauce. I admit that I was pretty convinced nothing was better than Prego (and so far, I haven't been proven wrong) but it's something I had to at least try. My goal was to make my own lasagna noodles and tomato sauce and make a little mini lasagna. Mini for two reasons. First, because something could go terribly wrong and I hate to throw food away. Second, because I'm the only one eating my creations, and as much as I love lasagna, I would be really depressed if I didn't get another chance to cook dinner for the entire week.

In any case, the precaution was helpful in the latter respect, but in the former I need not have worried! It was GOOD. I only wish I'd had sausage to add to the ground beef.

The noodles came out great! I've decided I really enjoy making my own pasta. This time I got it rolled out reeeeally thin, and ended up getting about twice as much out of it! The small rectangles on the cooling (drying) rack are all I needed for the lasagna, and that big piece underneath I had leftover to make some fettuccine!

The sauce was highly successful as well. The recipe for Tomato-Basil sauce came from Williams Sonoma The Weeknight Cook .

Assembly was quick and easy. Meat browned, added to sauce, and layered with the noodles and ricotta cheese.

I can't say I think lasagna is particularly photogenic, but I suppose I can get over it. I so very much enjoyed eating this!

The Pasta:
Yield: Enough for a shallow 9x9 inch lasagna
Time: 15 minutes prep // 15 minutes resting // 15 minutes rolling and cutting

3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Egg

  1. Dump the flour on a clean counter top and make a little well in the center for the egg. Add in a few dashes of salt.
  2. Use a fork to beat the egg, gradually working in more and more of the flour mixture until you can easily knead it with your hands
  3. Knead it for a few minutes, making sure that all of the flour is worked in. If you need to add a tiny bit of water to accomplish this, that's ok. 
  4. Let it rest, covered with a damp towel, for about 15 minutes
  5. Roll it out as thin as you possibly can and cut it into the size and shape that you want.
The Sauce (throw this together while you let your pasta rest!)
Yield: About 3 1/2 cups sauce
Time: 5-10 minutes to gather the ingredients and tend to the garlic // 15-20 minutes simmering

2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, minced
3-4 tbsp* Tomato Paste (about half of one of those little cans)
1 large can Whole Plum (Roma) Tomatoes
3 tsp Basil (or about 5 leaves fresh basil)
Sugar, Salt and Pepper to taste

*Most likely you don't have a lot of uses for the other half of this can. It would be highly convenient to double this recipe and simply freeze the extra sauce.

Note: If you don't plan on running the sauce through a food processor to get rid of lumps, you can brown your hamburger first and just dump the sauce to cook right on top of it. If you're lump-phobic like I am, do the two things separately
  1. Saute the garlic in the olive oil for about three minutes.
  2. Add in everything else and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally
  3. Go roll out your pasta and cut it into noodles
  4. This would also be a good time to brown your hamburger if you didn't do it at the beginning
  5. While you let your noodles dry out for a few minutes, remove the sauce from the stove and run it through a food processor to get rid of all the tomato chunks. We don't like tomato chunks around here! 
  6. Stir in the browned ground beef
The Lasagna
Yield: One (possibly shallow) 9x9 inch lasagna
Time: 15 minutes pasta // 15 minutes sauce & ground beef // 15 minutes pasta // 15 minutes assembly // 30 minutes cooking. Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

Ground beef (mixing sausage in with this would be amazing)
Ricotta Cheese
Lasagna Noodles
Mozzarella for topping
Yes, I realize I didn't give amounts. Lasagna is incredibly flexible!
  1. Make pasta
  2. Make sauce
  3. Brown ground beef
  4. Mix meat with sauce
  5. Don't boil your noodles if you made them yourself. They're ready to go right into your lasagna!
  6. Layer in 9x9 inch pan: sauce, noodles, ricotta, sauce, noodles, ricotta. Repeat until you're out of ingredients or you've filled the pan to the top, whichever comes first!
  7. Top with mozzarella cheese
  8. Cook at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbly

1 comment:

  1. wow I am so impressed! Homemade pasta AND homemade sauce!! Next you need to grind your own sausage haha. No that would probably be gross. bye!