First, credit for the source of the recipe goes to http://101cookbooks.com/ We modified it a bit as we went along, but the concept and basics are Heidi's -- and WHAT a concept. It's the best lasagna we've ever had.
There are five steps to making the dish... and it definitely takes lots of TIME. Open a bottle of wine and enjoy the process. It's second to none from start to finish.
1 - Make the Pasta
2 - Make the Bechamel Sauce
3 - Make the Red Sauce
4 - Assemble Everything
5 - Bake
The big difference between this lasagna and traditional is the SUPER thin layers of pasta. So thin that you have to make the pasta yourself or find flat sheets fresh pasta to run through your own pasta rollers.
For the Pasta:
Put all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Turn the dough out onto the counter, gather and gently pack it into a ball
shape, and knead a four or five times - until dough is smooth and all one texture. The dough should not stick to your hands, if it does - knead in a bit more flour. Cut in half, and flatten each piece of dough into a pancake shape roughly 1-inch high. I place each piece of dough in a plastic bag to keep moist until I am ready to use it.
When you're ready to roll (no pun intended), start on a thick setting and work your way down. We stopped at the next to thinnest setting on the Kitchen-Aid Mixer's Pasta Roller attachment. You could see shadows and light through the pasta by the time it was done.
Cut the strips to the right size and set aside until assembly time.
For the Bechamel Sauce:
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.
For the Red Sauce:
Place the olive oil, salt, pepper flakes, and garlic in a pan. Dial the heat up and saute for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes and slowly bring to a simmer as well. Remove from heat, stir in the lemon zest and taste for seasoning. Add more salt if needed. Set aside.
We didn't pre-boil the pasta for a few reasons... first, it's so thin, it wouldn't have taken much more than a 30 second dip in the water before it was overcooked. second, it was so delicate it surely would have fallen apart and caused high blood pressure. Third, it really didn't need it. Since we added spinach and red bell peppers to the mix and spinach gives off loads of liquid when it's cooked, the extra liquid added to the recipe went into the pasta to "cook" it.
As a reminder, everything is super thin layers. Thin pasta, thin layers of sauce, thin layers of spinach, thin layers of red bell pepper, thin layers of cheese. We used a brush to thin out the sauces as we added them.
We used one of the big Le Creuset rectangular roasters (~14"x10") and lightly sprayed it with PAM then added a layer of red sauce to kick things off and then a layer of pasta. Beyond that, just improvise remembering that everything is super thin layers. So if you do a layer of Bechamel sauce, maybe add a light dusting of Asiago, but nothing more and then a layer of pasta. Likewise with the spinach. Other than only using 2/3 of the Ricotta, we used everything
else up completely and finished the top of the dish off with a super thin layer of Bechamel first (painted thin with the brush) followed by a thin layer of red sauce (painted thin with the brush) and finally the last of the Mozzarella.
We let the assembled dish sit for nearly 40 minutes just to let it settle, let the pasta have a little time to absorb some of the liquid.
We cooked for 90 minutes at 350, but I suspect the shape and depth of the pan will dictate how long you cook it. Check the edges to make sure they don't dry out too much. If they start looking like they're drying too much, throw some foil over the top.
View line-by-line Nutrition Insights™: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
|Serving Size: 1 recipe (3253g)|
|Recipe Makes: 8-12 Serving|
|Calories from Fat: 3138 (56%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 348.7g||465 %|
|Saturated Fat 169.8g||849 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 116.6g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 27.7g|
|Cholesterol 6015.2mg||1851 %|
|Sodium 8946.5mg||309 %|
|Potassium 5901.6mg||155 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 228.5g||67 %|
|Dietary Fiber 39.6g||159 %|
|Sugars, other 188.9g|
|Protein 412g||589 %|
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Calories per serving: 5597
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