Photo credit: Mieko Horikoshi @miekophoto
Basic Pasta Dough
1 lb Semolina
3 whole Eggs
½ cup Water
Place semolina in a large mixing bowl, put all eggs into a blender, add the water and blend it on low speed for a bit.
Mix the egg-water mix into the semolina a bit at a time, start kneading and keep adding egg-water mix until it forms a nice dough.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it sit for about an hour. With a rolling pin, start rolling out the dough to thin sheets, cut into 7”x 3.5” lasagna sheets.
Bring salt water to a boil and blanch the pasta sheets to “al dente” remove from boiling water and cool off in ice water.
Oven ready no boiling required lasagna pasta sheets are available in most super markets if you don’t want to make it from scratch.
½ lbs Butter
½ lbs All Purpose Flour
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add flour at once and stir with a wooden spoon until incorporated.
Reduce heat to medium low and stir occasionally until the consistency is like wet saw dust, then remove. Put into an appropriate container, set aside to cool.
Roux can be stored in the freezer.
1 quart Whole Milk
1 dash Ground Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste
Bring milk to a boil over medium high heat. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
Add the cold roux to the boiling milk while stirring with a whisk. Adjust quantity of roux until you achieve required batter like thickness of the béchamel.
Simmer for another ten minutes on low heat while occasionally stirring. Place béchamel into a bowl and cool down.
Tomato Sauce / Marinara
1 each #10 can crushed San Marzano Tomato
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bunch Basil
5 clove Garlic smashed roughly chopped
2 tblsp Sugar
Salt & Pepper to taste
Take an appropriate size sauce pan, add EVOO until the entire bottom of the pan is covered and then some, place on medium high heat, once the oil is getting hot add the garlic and whole basil, then add the crushed tomatoes, rinse the empty can out with some cold water and add that to the pan. Add the sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil while occasionally stirring. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for approximately one hour and thirty minutes, stir occasionally.
Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Bolognese Meat Sauce (Beef only)
3 lbs ground Beef (80% beef-20% fat ratio)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat a large frying pan with oil on medium high heat, carefully add the beef and saute till lightly colored, you may want to saute the beef in two or three batches.
When done, remove some of the fat. After, mix it with the tomato sauce, bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper to taste, simmer for about thirty minutes. Cool down.
Take an oven safe lasagna dish. Add a good amount of Bolognese and béchamel sauce and spread it out in the dish with a spoon.
Sprinkle some grated low moisture mozzarella cheese and a little parmesan cheese over it. Take pasta sheets and put on top, gently press it down a little. Repeat this step several more times, until you have the desired height of your lasagna. Finish with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Preheat the oven to 380° F. Bake the lasagna for about one hour to one hour and a half, depending how many layers you have. A good indicator that the lasagna is ready, is when it’s bubbling and the cheese has baked a nice golden brown crust.