February 09, 2008

Lasagna to Soothe the Soul

Thanks to everyone who voted for me in Culinate’s Death by Chocolate contest. I didn’t win, but I was in the top ten, so that’s not too shabby. Congrats to Not Eating Out in New York and her Pain with Chocolate, which was the grand prize winner, I know she’ll have an amazing time in Napa. She’d better!

Instead of jetting off to Napa, I’ll be here, wallowing in misery. Usually to ease my sorrow I would drown myself in chocolate, but given the current circumstances, chocolate can’t console me, it only serves as a painful reminder of what I’m missing out on. So I’m turning to good old fashioned comfort food to make me feel better, something with lots of carb-goodness: lasagna with homemade noodles. Lasagna was always a dish I used to get excited about when I found out we were having it for dinner. When I was little we didn’t have it all that often and it was usually reserved for a Sunday dinner as it takes a little extra time to prepare. I could never resist the smell of lasagna as it baked in the oven and was impatient as ever to eat it. I hated waiting and the fact that it couldn’t be served directly from the oven. I was repeatedly told that the lasagna was too hot to eat right away and even though I was made to wait for a while before it got to my plate, I would always burn my mouth on the first bite. That never slowed me down though, I think I stuffed myself silly every time I ate lasagna, (who am I kidding? I still do) and never turned down seconds or thirds or fourths. Given the amount of lasagna I would eat in one sitting, you’d think I’d get sick of it but I still couldn’t wait to have the leftovers again for lunch the next day.


Now that I make my own lasagna I can have it whenever I want and often make up a big tray and freeze (enormous) individual pieces to heat up when I get a craving. I don’t follow a recipe for the filling, it generally varies depending on what I have on hand. I like to make up all the components and then put it together assembly line style. My latest and greatest lasagna discovery is to use homemade pasta instead of storebought noodles. Yes, it takes considerably more time to make your own, but I like playing around in the kitchen, it’s fun for me. I also like rolling the noodles super thin and making as many layers as will fit in my pan. For this lasagna I got 6 layers of noodles alone. That’s awesome! I’ve gotten even more than that, but in that case the filling I’m using between pasta layers is pureed. This time around I used a filling that consisted of tomato sauce, cottage cheese, beef seasoned with ginger and garlic, onions, green and red peppers and mozzarella cheese. Someday I’ll have to post about the seafood lasagna that I make which uses a white sauce and is fantastic. Until then, I’d be happy to hear what you like in your lasagna and if anyone needs me, I’ll be finishing off the pan of lasagna and then rolling myself to the couch.


Fresh Pasta (from Giada DeLaurentiis’ Everyday Pasta)


3 cups all purpose flour, (I used 00 flour and since I’ve started using it in my pasta, I like it a whole lot more)

4 large eggs

1 T kosher salt

1 T olive oil


Place the flour in the bowl of a food processor. In a small bowl lightly beat the eggs. Add the salt and olive oil to the eggs and stir to combine. Add the egg mixture to the food processor with the flour and pulse to combine, scraping down the sides if needed. Continue with the machine running, until the liquid is evenly distributed, about 1 min, (I didn’t let it run that long). The dough should stick together if pinched between your fingers and be cornmeal yellow in color. Some of the dough will be clumping together but it will not form a ball.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gather the dough into a ball and knead until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes before rolling and shaping as desired.



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25 comments:

Manggy said...

Chocolate? What chocolate? That lasagna looks fantastic! Mario Batali says 7 layers of noodles is the way to go, but that's kind of overkill, heh heh :)
I was a little afraid of some lasagna with sweet corn and sweet bolognese in it, but it turned out pretty well. My favorite filling is spinach, ricotta, and fresh tomato sauce :)

dailydelicious said...

Oh my! it's look so delicious. oh, sorry I just come here to say hello, but the Lasagna get more attention.

Peter G said...

You gotta love a good home made noodle. Great job and your filling sounds quite interesting. Who needs chocolate anyway?

creampuff said...

Oh! That looks amaaaaaaaaaaaazing!

T.W. Barritt said...

Wow, that hunk of lasagna could make even the worst day bearable!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Lasagna with 6 layers of pasta sounds like my sort of carb heaven. I love any type of lasagna meat or veggie so long as it has lots of creamy topping that has been crisped on the very top and is all soft underneath.

Lis said...

Holy cow that has my tummy growling! Brilynn, it looks SO GOOD!! I lurve lasagna - but it wasn't always this way. When I was a kid, I wasn't very fond of my mom's lasagna (don't you EVER tell her) - it was very, very rich. But since I've learned to make my own, I love it.. but of course the Creampuff version is my absolute favorite. Mine is pretty traditional, marinara, noodles, seasoned ground beef, ricotta and provolone cheeses. Sometimes I throw in spinach.

Lore said...

Oh how I love home made pasta....and just about anything with the same amount of carbs :)).
I'd say congrats are in order for making the top ten...but I won't say it ;) as long as that's what it takes for you to make this yummy lasagna.

Lydia said...

That is one good looking chunk of lasagna! Like you, I have little self-control around a really delicious homemade lasagna. I think I'd have to freeze it and hide the portions in places where I'd not be able to get at them too easily, or all would be gone.

Ann said...

Now THAT is comfort food!

Annemarie said...

Sorry you didn't win, but I'm with you on the comforting-ness of lasagna. I love making my own pasta now and lasagna is the next thing to tackle.

Annie said...

Wow. That looks so amazing!

I have never made my own pasta (of any shape). I guess I am just a little more impatient than you. HAHA.

I usually put similar ingredients: ricotta, ground turkey cooked with leeks and spices, sometimes spinach, tomato sauce and of course mozzarella.

Hey now I'm craving lasagna~ thanks Brilynn!

Margaret said...

Whenever I see a foodbloggers post where they have made pasta, I always say, 'I must have a go'. To this day I still haven't got stuck in and made any. Homemade is so tender and you can tell love has gone into it. Oh well, good to read about yours.......

jasmine said...

Sorry to read you didn't win the trip...but this lasagna looks absolutely amazing...

j

Bellini Valli said...

Congrats on being in the top 10 for the Death by Chocolate event fist of all...next by tempting us with this delicious lasagna...I'll have seconds please :D

Gattina said...

Brilynn, I haven't ever made fresh lasagna... after seeing yours, I just want to fly over and come to your door, drop on my knees begging you to give me one huge wedge of this 6-layer lasagna!

joey said...

This sounds fab! I have never made fresh pasta but believe me it has been on the "to-do" list for a while now...If I can get a 6 layer lasanga out of it that is certainly motivation enough...as is your own drool-worthy photo! :)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Brilynn I think I would just expect homemade noodles from you especially in lasagna. I'd love this one and your seafood sound heavenly. Anybody who's putting together lasagna like you do has it all under control.
That burned mouth thing: me too, always!

Dhanggit said...

love this lasagna!! i need to eat some tonight yours make me crave for one :-)

ps,your entry in death by chocolate was great, anyways you are in the top ten so you are a winner too :-)

Patricia Scarpin said...

This is really comforting, Bri - I love lasagna!
And I've had my share of burns for eating it piping hot... :)

Dana said...

Homemade noodles?? I'm totally impressed!! This looks fantastic!

Deborah said...

Oohh, yeah! I want to hear about the seafood lasagna! Lasagna is my favorite comfort food, although I've never made my own noodles!

Kevin said...

Nice looking lasagna! Lasagna is one of my favorite meals. I like to make lots of extras for lots of leftovers.

Flanboyant Eats said...

Girl, I don't do lasagna too much but yours looks really good. Home made noodle for the soul. Was your patience tested!?

Kristen said...

Oh lasagna is one of my faves. Now I'm craving it!