Well, maybe I should be more accurate. This is more than semi homemade. We made the noodles and the sauce by hand, but we cheated and instead of making a white sauce and using fresh Parmigiano Reggiano, we used ricotta and Sargento shredded cheese.
I think homemade noodles hold up SO much better than boxed noodles. Homemade noodles don’t get mushy in the oven. It’s a little more effort, but with all the leftovers lasagna usually makes, you’ll end up saving time by not having to make dinners the next few days:) And if you’re making the homemade noodles, you might as well make a homemade sauce because while the sauce simmers, you can make the noodles!
The noodle recipe is from Marcella Hazan. I have that memorized by now. And the sauce recipe is also from Marcella. One time we made her Lasagna with Bolognese Sauce (https://the365cook.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/homemade-lasagna), but this time I just took a sauce recipe from her book that looked like it would fit well in the lasagna. I used my Dutch Oven to layer up the lasagna because my regular lasagna pan doesn’t allow as many layers as I wanted.
So, finally, here are the steps and ingredients:
For the sauce:
1- 5 tbs butter
2- 6 tbs each onion, carrot, and celery, finely chopped
3- 29 oz can San Marzano tomatoes plus two small fresh tomatoes chopped (because one can isn’t quite enough)
And about a lb of ground turkey or beef to be cooked separately and added to the sauce later.
For the noodles:
1- 2 cups unbleached flour
2- 4 egg
3- Pasta machine
For the ricotta mixture:
1- 30 oz ricotta
2- 1 egg
4- 3/4 cup shredded cheese
Start the sauce first:
1- Place all ingredients into a pot and cook, uncovered, at a very low simmer, for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.
2- Brown the meat and then set aside.
While the sauce simmers, work on the noodles:
1- Put the flour on a clean work surface. Make a well and add the eggs. Use a fork to break up the egg and to incorporate the flour. Use only as much flour as you need to make a dough. Add more if needed. The eggs I use are always super absorbent, so I always need more flour.
2- Once the dough has come together and is no longer sticky, knead for a full 8 minutes.
3- Cut the dough in to about 10 small manageable pieces and start putting through the pasta roller. Start at 7 and work your way down to 4 putting the dough through twice on each number. Once rolled out, place on a kitchen towel. If the pieces are long, you can cut into a more manageable size.
Somewhere in the midst of this, start boiling a pot of water and have an ice bath prepared.
4- Once the noodles are cut, add them to the pot of boiling, salted water. Allow the water to come back to a boil and boil, literally, for about 30 seconds. Remove and plunge into the ice bath. Take them out and run them under cold water to remove excess starch. Lay on a kitchen towel.
For the ricotta mixture:
1- Mix the egg, ricotta, and cheese together. Easy.
Now preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Add the browned meat to the sauce and stir to combine. Begin to build the lasagna.
Layer of sauce, noodles, ricotta, sauce, noodles, ricotta, sauce, etc. If you have extra noodles, you can cut into strips of pasta and save for later.
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes to see if a crust has formed. If not, boost up 50-75 degrees and bake another 10 minutes. Do not bake more than 15 minutes is what Marcella Hazan says.
Let cool and enjoy. And of course you know lasagna is always better the second day:) We just had it for dinner last night and I put the rest in the freezer.