8/26/2010

Improv Lasagna

I'm definitely on a roll here, in the making my noodles department anyway.  Ha, ha, rolling pin joke.  For lasagna, it's fairly easy.  The pasta is larger squares and doesn't have to be super thin.  I did the Chef Laboa, Genoese version again, with a bit of white wine in the dough. The basic recipe adapted from Luigi Carnacina's Great Italian Cooking.  Still learning and hoping to improve on technique.
This Lasagna came about from what was calling to me from shelves in my fridge.  I had about a half quart of lovely meat ragu, left from making spaghetti, a container of mascarpone, a package of French, Valbreso Feta and some Parmesan Reggianito.  So, three cheeses, joining forces to pull an improv lasagna together.

   
Egg Pasta Dough

31/2 cups sifted flour (I used 1 1/4 cups whole wheat spelt and the rest white flour)
5 eggs (here is where I substituted about 2 tablespoons white wine for one of the eggs)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Put the flour into a large bowl or on your counter, and make a well in the center.  Beat the eggs, oil, salt and wine together in a bowl, then pour into your flour well.  Mix the flour into the eggs a little at a time until all blended; then knead with both hands until smooth and firm.  Cover with cling wrap and let it rest for a half hour or so.  Then you can divide it into four parts, covering the balls you aren't working on while rolling out the other.  With our humidity, it worked out better not to use the moist towel covering technique.  If you live in a dry climate, you may want to follow the direction to cover the dough with a warm dampened towel.

Roll out to lasagna thickness, then cut into 3" squares (I made mine a bit larger) and set on a towel, lightly dusted with flour, or on a baking tray, separating the layers with sheets of waxed or parchment paper.  Bring your large pot of water to a boil meanwhile.  Add about 1 tablespoon salt.

Poach the squares, maybe 5 - 6 at a time, and when they float to the top, after a minute or so there, or al dente, remove with a slotted spoon onto a cloth lined cookie sheet.    Now you can put together your Improv Lasagna, with whatever you like.  Left-over ham, or braised pork loin?  You can do Lasagna Napoletana.  Chicken handy?  You have the makings of Lasagna Cacciatora, and etc.  Mine came closest to Lasagna Partenope, from the above mentioned book.  Had never realized the number of possibilities for lasagna variations.

Now layer and bake (if you're doing a baked version) at 350 F, for about 40 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.  Serve with some garlic bread and a nice green salad.  The various cheeses turned out to be a yummy combination with the meaty marinara sauce.  We'll be bringing this to the great Pasta Potluck on the web, Presto Pasta Nights, faithfully maintained for years now, by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast, and hosted this week by Amy of Very Culinary.  Check out all the very creative cooking there.


7 comments:

Ruth Daniels said...

Love the white wine in dough! Excellent addition to what looks awesome. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

Katerina said...

It is always great to make your own pasta. Even though it is time consuming and tiring the end result compensates you.

Sunny said...

Ohh it was sooo good!Thanks for sharing!!

Mary said...

What a fantastic pasta. It really made a beautiful meal. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Joanne said...

haha I loved your rolling pin joke. Then again, I'm a total food nerd. I love that you made your own dough and the white wine infusion is a great call! Looks fantastic.

Elizabeth said...

That looks so good!! And what an intriguing idea to add white wine to the pasta. (We tried adding red wine once - it wasn't the best idea, producing puce coloured noodles that tasted fine but looked, well... awful.)

The Food Hunter said...

Like the idea of adding white wine to the pasta. Very col