Monday, December 9, 2013

Make your own pasta sheets - Lasagne for two nights, in a "rush"

Lasagne is one of those dishes where I usually have all the ingredients but the pasta sheets in my pantry.  So then I give up.  But just recently I have revived my pasta making.

I used to make pasta many moons ago when I was a young thing, but it was a complicated affair involving a pasta machine, much rolling, drying and so on.  It does not have to be so!

Try this for a recipe which will make 2 x large Lasagne's.  One for the oven, and one for the freezer for another day.  Its quick and simple, and I can prepare the whole lot in about 1/2hr.

Take 2 or 3 large onions and a very large slosh of oil, put them to saute in a large pot.  Add 2kg of mince, breaking it up with your fingers.  Stir till everything starts to cook, then add 2 large tablespoons of plain flour (this keeps the mixture nice once assembled).  Add 1 can of tomato puree, some tomato pasta sauce if you have it, a little water to thin a bit (maybe 1/2 cup), salt, pepper and herbs of your choosing.  I used fresh marjoram from the garden.

While that lot is cooking, make a white sauce.  Good slosh of olive oil (or about 100g butter if you prefer - which I do!), 1cup plain flour, and cook till it makes a paste.  Add 1 x litre of milk.  Stir till the sauce thickens and boils.  If you are feeling flash, add 1 or 2t chicken stock.

Now make the pasta.  In the your mixer or food processor add 2 eggs, 1T oil and 6D water.  Whizz, then slowely add 1 cup plain flour.  Keep adding flour up to about 2.5cups in total, till you have a dough that leaves the sides of the bowl clean.  


Put spoonfuls of the lasagne in your first dish to make a layer about 1inch thick.  Roll out 1/4 of the pasta till thin, and cut to fit your dish.  Put the pasta layer ontop of the mince.  Then spread with a good dollop of the white sauce.  Repeat with mince, pasta and white sauce.  Top with grated cheese. 

Keep going with the 2nd dish.

Put the first in the oven for about 3/4hr at 180C and cover the other in tinfoil once cool, label and pop in the freezer for later.