Lasagna Recipe, Wine, Music, and a Movie- What a Night!

Now for that recipe of the lasagna I made for this Bertolli Pasta Machine/Lasagna Dish Giveaway. This will be more of a guide. I used no exact measurements or science, just threw it all together and it worked out deliciously. A little of this, a pinch of that, a handful of this, a toss of that, give or take. Some of the special flavors came from fresh basil, nutmeg, and orange rind. I’ll take you through each component then the layering. We found that this lasagna did not go “thump” in our bellies, the noodles were tender and light, and the orange sang out but did not hit us in the head. This is best when made together with family or friends. Make a party of it why don’t you?

Marinara Sauce
2 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8-10 fresh basil leaves, whole
3 cloves garlic minced, I used 3 frozen garlic cubes from Trader Joe’s
1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley
3 t. fresh orange zest
28 ounce can ground peeled tomatoes
Kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 -1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, optional but good
1 tsp. sugar

In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add and sauté basil, parsley, and red pepper flakes for 30-60 seconds. Add garlic and orange rind, sauté for another 30 seconds, do not let brown. Add the tomatoes and sugar. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Simmer five minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and save for lasagna.

Bechamel Sauce
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
2 1/2- 3 cups milk
kosher salt to taste
ground black pepper, about 1 tsp.
freshly grated nutmeg, about 1 1/2 tsp.
1 clove garlic, minced

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour until a smooth paste forms. Slowly pour in milk while whisking until a thick sauce forms. Salt to taste, add the pepper, garlic, and nutmeg. Stir well and remove from heat to be used in a bit.

Ricotta Filling
1 pound ricotta cheese, I used whole milk kind
2 handfuls grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Kosher salt
ground black pepper, about 1 tsp.
2 eggs
handful of fresh chopped parsley
1 clove mined garlic

1 pound mozzarella sliced for layering later
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese to top lasagna

In a large bowl mix all of the above ingredients except mozzarella and shaved Parmesan, until smooth.

Pasta
4 eggs
water
3 1/2 cups flour

I used my KitchenAid mixer with bread hook attachment. Whisk eggs in liquid measuring cup, add enough water to equal one cup. Pour into bowl of mixer. Add 3 cups of flour and start mixer on low. Mix, scraping down sides until all the flour is incorporated, will be sticky. Slowly add some more flour until mix is no longer sticky, but not dry either. With floured hands lift the dough out of the bowl and form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap for about 10 minutes.

To roll out using a pasta machine, cut off a piece of dough about the size of a racket ball- maybe a bit smaller. Place machine setting on the thickest setting, some machines it will be #7, others #1. Roll dough through. Fold the dough in thirds like a letter. Roll the dough through at that setting again. Lower the setting to a thinner number and roll dough through. No need to fold dough again but continue rolling dough through machine until the second to last setting on the machine. The last setting is too thin-each machine with vary. Sprinkle dough with flour if it gets sticky. Cut the noodles in half. Place 2 noodles at a time in salted boiling water and boil for 3-4 minutes. Pull out with strainer and let set on a drying rack- I used my cookie racks- until ready to use. See my “How to Make Pasta” Tutorial.

Building the Lasagna

Here is the order in which the components go into the dish. Note that the noodles with be “rustic”, the mozzarella cheese will not “touch”, and once it is all baked up, all the little imperfections will not matter.

1/4 bechamel sauce
noodles
1/3 ricotta filling
1/3 sliced mozzarella cheese
1/3 marinara sauce
noodles
1/4 bechamel sauce
noodles
1/3 ricotta filling
1/3 sliced mozzarella cheese
1/3 marinara sauce
noodles
1/4 bechamel sauce
noodles
1/3 ricotta filling
1/3 sliced mozzarella cheese
1/3 marinara sauce
noodles
1/4 bechamel sauce
Shaved Parmesan Cheese

Bake in 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes. Remove and let set about 10 minutes before cutting. Serves about 8-10. Lovely with a salad, bread, olives, and sliced oranges drizzled with oil and sprinkled with a pinch of sugar for dessert.


Wine of choice- Just to be different, I went with Rosa Regale- red, sweet, and bubbly, perfect for bringing out the orange and nutmeg in the sauce. I did not want a heavy dry red since the lasagna remained so light.

Music of Choice- Mob Hits

Movie of Choice- Watch Anthony Quinn and Anna Magnani shine in The Secret of Santa Vittoria.

Don’t forget that the contest for the Pasta Machine and Lasagna Dish ends tonight at 10pm EST. Go here to enter for your chance to win.

Mangia.


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21 Comments

  1. avatar the domestic mama
    Posted 05/05/2010 at 6:39 AM | Permalink

    ooo- Robin, how yummy and lucky! :) I will have to try this our next Italian night!

  2. avatar oneordinaryday
    Posted 05/05/2010 at 7:19 AM | Permalink

    This is awesome, and I have no doubt that it's delicious too. I love lasagna. Especially when you can put two together and pop one into the freezer. : )

  3. avatar Peter M
    Posted 05/05/2010 at 7:39 AM | Permalink

    I never tire when I see lasagna stacked-up like that. I use bechamel in lasagnas..each & every time!

  4. avatar 12th Man Training Table
    Posted 05/05/2010 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

    here i was thinking i had made up the "make two, freeze one" idea all by myself!!

    great minds …

    am thinking lasagna is one of the best ways to get kids to eat veggies. can load it up with spinach, zucchini, eggplant, you name it.

    cheers!

  5. avatar Deanna Call
    Posted 05/05/2010 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    I signed up for your newsletter for another entry!

    Thank you for all of your wonderful ideas. I check your blog daily.

  6. avatar Fallon
    Posted 05/05/2010 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    That looks DELICIOUS!

    Pasta making looks so easy. It always so light and delicate.

  7. avatar Ingrid
    Posted 05/05/2010 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    In the past I hadn't been crazy about lasagna but it's alway been because of the meat in the sauce. This is much better.
    ~ingrid

  8. avatar Grumpy and HoneyB
    Posted 05/05/2010 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

    Looks great – and Grumpy's favorite is lasagna (something I am not so good at – figures!).

  9. avatar Karen
    Posted 05/05/2010 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

    Looks good! My MIL always put a little orange zest in her spaghetti sauce… I liked it!

  10. avatar Anonymous
    Posted 05/05/2010 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

    I have a feeling my comment didn't make it but Robin I can't thank you enough for blogging as I know the effort you expend to accomplish wonderful meals for the rest of us. Gumma and Gumpa love Bertolli frozen meals and what fun to see your family making pasta. That would be a great treat for our kiddos at the cabin this summer in our RED kitchen in the Catskills.

  11. avatar grace
    Posted 05/05/2010 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    oh what a night indeed! i recently had some lasagna rolls and while they were good and elegant, nothing beats the layered version for me.

  12. avatar FOODalogue
    Posted 05/05/2010 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    Love "Mob Hits. Fun playlist.

    I'm still intrigued by the addition of orange zest and will have to try it.

  13. avatar pigpigscorner
    Posted 05/06/2010 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    I just cannot resist lasagna! yum…

  14. avatar Sandy
    Posted 05/06/2010 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    Hey, that sounds so yummy!

    I'm horrible with lasagna recipes because I never make them the same!

    Happy Mother's Day!

  15. avatar Sabrina
    Posted 05/07/2010 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    Robin.. you make it sound easy. I will use your guidelines to make one. Do you think it is the fresh pasta that keeps it from going 'thump' in your stomach?

  16. avatar Jenn@slim-shoppin
    Posted 05/07/2010 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    I can't even imagine how wonderful that lasagna is with home made pasta!!

    It looks so good Robin Sue!

  17. avatar Mimi
    Posted 05/08/2010 at 1:54 AM | Permalink

    I like the orange zest in your marinara sauce, It gives it such a fresh flavor. Nothing like fresh made pasta, it just melts in your mouth.
    Mimi

  18. avatar Penny
    Posted 05/09/2010 at 5:44 AM | Permalink

    Happy Mother's Day Robin Sue. I have loved this Bertolli series. You did a great job with it and your photo of the meal is so professional.

  19. avatar biz319
    Posted 05/09/2010 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    I am just waiting for your email letting me know I won your giveaway!!

    Just stopped by to wish you a wonderful Mother's Day – you are such a great momma!

  20. avatar Ingrid
    Posted 05/10/2010 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

    I meant to try and get over here yesterday…..

    Happy Mother's Day!
    ~ingrid

  21. avatar Sophie
    Posted 05/11/2010 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

    What a rich, decadent & ooh so tasty home made lasagna made from sctratch!!

    I am impressed! Truly wonderful food!

    i also make my pasta fresh from time to time,…it is fun, isn't it??

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