Friday, 29 August 2014

100% Homemade Lasagne + Big Apologies + Updates!

Hi Everyone! 
I realized that there are way too many posts on my blog starting with "I know I did not write and I am sorry I am terrible bla bla bla".

I seriously have to change that. I love this blog with all my heart. And I see the statistics and I do have a lot of readers (including a massive amount of guys from France, which really surprises me), so I don't want to disappoint you.
I made and photoed this recipe almost two months ago, and I was just lazy. I got an amazing internship job in a museum, and although I was cooking and baking on a daily basis, I did not photo it. I'm returning to Glasgow next week and I hope I can concentrate on the blog more than I did during the summer.

How is a lasagne 100% homemade you may wonder... well, this is about the pasta this time, I am going to share with you how to make it by yourself. Not a big deal, I promise, and it is not crucial to have a pasta machine!

Originally the rule is 1 egg to 100 grams of flour (plain flour). Although eggs' sizes vary and I don't exactly know what size needs exactly 100 grams, I normally go with a medium egg and add 90 g of flour - it is easier to add more flour if necessary, but if the pasta dries, there is no going back. Side note: if your pasta dries, please don't panic, it is amazing to put into soup. Make any vegetable soup (not cream soup), and grate the hard pasta through a big holed cheese grater while it's boiling, Cook until everything comes to the top and you're done!

Soooo, here we go for the pasta, for one medium tray of lasagne:
2 eggs
180 g flour + a bit more.
Pour flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Put the egg in the well, and first use the fingers to mix it together with the flour, then began kneading. It is going to be hard and tiring and you have to knead forever. I told you!

When the pasta ball is perfectly smooth, you are done. Cover it with a tablecloth, so it won't dry. From here, you have to options.
If you don't have a pasta machine: Divide the ball into four parts, and cover those you're not working with. Using a rolling pin, roll the pasta on a floured surface until it's as thin as possible. You can cut it into smaller parts if that's easier - for lasagne, 10x5 cm quandrangles are perfect. 

If you do have a pasta machine: Divide the ball into four parts, and cover those you're not working with. Using the clean pasta machine, roll it to a thin pasta, going thinner and thinner with each step, so you should start with a thicker one. I stopped at the second level, so it does not have to be as thin a pasta machine could do, maybe around 0,6 mm.

If you're using the pasta when you're making it, feel free to do that right after you made it, it does not need to dry. If you want to save it for later, dry it on a tablecloth for a very long time (like one or two days), at a dry place - it has to be perfectly dry because otherwise it will get moldy. Don't forget to change the cloth regularly, it will go wet! When you're done, wrap them into celophane and store it in the cupboard. A good way to dry them - I have never done that but saw it - is to fold the pasta in half when its still fresh, and put it on a string, like you do with the washing.

And now, let's make some lasagne!


printable version

100 g home made lasagne pasta
300 g minced meat
1 carrot
1 red onion
1 celery
5-6 tomatoes
salt, pepper, nutmeg
2 tblsp olive oil
50 g butter
5 tblsp flour
5 dl milk
100 g cheese

In a large pan, heat up the olive oil, and add the meat. Cook it for 15-20 minutes or until it's fully cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Mix the vegetables in a food processor (you can chop them into little pieces if you don't have one) and add it to the meat. Cover the pan and let it cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Taste it to find out if you need more seasoning. Don't worry if it's a little bit oversalted, the pasta doesn't contain any salt anyway.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, and add the flour in little portions, constantly mixing. Start adding the milk really slowly, don't stop mixing to avoid lumps. Season with a pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Grease a heatproof tray or bowl with oil or butter (I normally use a medium glass bowl). Preheat the oven for 200 C. Start layering; start with a layer of pasta, then the meat, then the white sauce. The very top should be a meat layer. If you are using parmesan or a similar kind of hard cheese, don't add it before baking, wait with it until serving. If you are using cheddar or a similar kind of softer cheese, grate it and put it on the top of the lasagne before it goes in the oven.
Bake it for 25-30 minutes.

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