(Please see the first post titled, Not a recipe but….if you’re totally lost!)
(variations are in italics)
Semolina Flour, Durum Flour, Eggs, Canned San Marzano Tomatoes, Onions, Olive Oil, Ground Veal, Garlic, Dry Oregano, Parmesan, Basil, Part Skim Mozzarella, Salt and Pepper.
Ok so first off I like to make things in a certain order. Mostly to conserve time. I start by making the pasta in a kitchenaid mixer with a paddle attachment. You could use a hook as well, up to you. I combine close to equal parts semolina flour and durum flour with a pinch of salt. If you can’t find semolina and/ or durum use AP flour. If you can only find semolina, then use half semolina and half AP flour. Generally for a casserole with enough lasagna to feed 6-8 people I use about 3 cups flour total. I’ll start the mixer so that my dry ingredients get incorporated. Then I add in 2 eggs and 1 yolk if they are medium sized eggs. If you have some giant hormone induced eggs from a chicken factory then just use 2 whole. And stop using them after this please! I’ll mix this on low speed, then start to drizzle in olive oil. Somewhere around 2 Tablespoons. All the while still mixing on low. Lastly I trickle in cold water until the dough starts to become a dough. As soon as you see clumps begin to form stop with the water and let it continue to mix. You want it to form into one big ball of scrumptious pasta dough. Not sticky, but not dry either. Once you’re here, take the dough out and kneed it by hand a few minutes. Don’t be a wuss. Then cut it into quarters and kneed each one for a minute or so. Set them on the counter and cover them with a towel while we get everything else ready. PS. Don’t put the pasta too close to the stove. If I have to explain why you probably shouldn’t be cooking.
Next I’ll make the sauce. I start by coating a pot, pan or other cooking device with good olive oil. Slice a couple of garlic cloves and throw them into the oil. If you’re quick at chopping onions, then turn the pot on medium heat and let the garlic start to cook while you cut your onions. Generally I use 2 medium sized onions. Again, if you buy your vegetables from the chemically modified produce department, then one is probably enough. Chop it and throw it into the pot once the garlic is browned. Let the onions cook while you put your tomatoes into the food processor. I use 1-2 cans whole peeled, but if you use tomato puree or chopped tomatoes you could skip this part. Once the onions have turned translucent and started to caramelize, add a little salt and pepper and add your meat. You can use veal, pork, beef, a mixture or none at all. Your call. I use a half pound of veal. If you want a meatier lasagna add more meat! Once the meat has cooked add in the tomato and some dry oregano. Stir and let simmer for about a half an hour. While this finishes we’ll get set up with pasta.
Start a large pot of water to boil with a gratuitous amount of salt. Next your going to run your pasta through a pasta machine. I use the kitchenaid attachment, it works great. I generally like my pasta pretty thin so I take it down to a 6. There are little numbers on the pasta roller. Don’t try to stick the pasta in and flatten it right away. You might need to flatten it a little with your hands or a rolling pin first. Then run it through the widest setting a few times, folding the pasta in half each time. Once you’ve got a great looking sheet of pasta start to roll it through, dropping the size once each pass through. If you try to hurry this up you’ll end up with wrinkled pasta. Not cool. Pass all of your pasta and let it sit on the counter in a dry area. I cut it into sheets that are the size of the casserole dish I want to use. Next boil the pasta for about 30 seconds and then put it into an ice bath. Don’t put too many sheets in the water at one time, you’ll lose your shit. Take them out and place on towels. Don’t stack, they’ll all stick together. I prefer not to use oil either because you’ll never get it all off.
Ok, almost there. Now all you have to do is assemble. I will usually start with a little sauce on the bottom (so the pan is easier to clean), then pasta, then sauce, then grated cheese, then fresh basil, then pasta, then sauce….and so on. Do it however you want to eat it! Lastly I top it with the Mozzarella. You can use fresh mozz, but beware the watery residue that it will leave on top. Fontina or provolone would be better substitutions. Please by all means don’t ever use the pre-shredded cheese in a bag. That stuff grosses me out.
Thanks and enjoy!