This recipe has three parts for its preparation. First the tomato sauce, then the filling/besciamella and finally the fresh pasta. Yes, I know what you are already thinking, this is going to take FOR EVER to prepare!! You are totally right but you can also have fun preparing it inviting friends over and having a cooking party 🙂 or the other option is to stage the preparation of the sauce and the filling one day and the day you will be assembling the lasagna make the besciamella and the fresh pasta.
Possible modifications to this recipe: 1) Substitute the fresh pasta with store bough lasagna pasta and cook it following the directions on the box. 2) For those who are not vegetarian you can add boil ham (45 grams of boil ham) cut in small pieces to the filling and ground beef or your choice of meat to the Vegetarian Italian Marinara Sauce.
- 180 grams raw spinach
- 1¼ cup of ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- pinch of nutmeg (this is a strong spice, please be mindful to just add a pinch)
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- In a large pot add enough water to cover 1 inch of the bottom of the pot. Add ½ a teaspoon of baking soda
- Add spinach to boiling water. It will quickly.
- Drain the water and when it cools off drain any excess water squishing with your hands
- In a bowl mix all the ingredients and mix
- Cover and refrigerate
- 21 grams butter
- 21 grams unbleached all purpose flour
- 1⅔ cups of milk
- In a medium size pot melt the butter
- Add the flour and using a whisk mix well.
- Add the milk ¼ cup at a time. Making sure to whisk well to remove any flour lumps
- Once all the milk has been added low the temp to the lowest setting. The sauce could get a bit thick, if this happens add a couple of tablespoons of milk and whisk.
When making the pasta follow the directions in the Homemade Spinach Filled Ravioli recipe using the quantities specified in the recipe below. If you don’t have a pasta machine I suggest you buy boxed pasta or fresh lasagna pasta. When I travel to Italy in 2008 I visited Bologna and took a pasta making cooking class. This class did not use the pasta machine but a long, thin rolling pin. Flattening the dough to form a 16 inch circle to the right thickness was very challenging! That was the first and last time I used a rolling pin to flattened fresh pasta. My preferred method is using the pasta machine.
- 1½ cups of unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 eggs + 2 tablespoons of egg whites
- Fill a pot with enough water to hold 3-4 pieces of pasta and add salt.
- Usually fresh pasta takes less time to cook. Once water is boiling it takes between 4-6 minutes. No worries if it is a bit "al dente", it will continue cooking when you bake it.
- Fill a large bowl with cold water.
- When the pasta is cooked, using a round skimmer take the pasta out into the bowl with cold water
After you have the sauce, the filling/besciamella, dough ready comes the fun part, assembling the lasagna!
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup low moisture mozzarella cheese (you could use more if you like the lasagna cheese or skip it and just add the Parmesan cheese)
- Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F on bake
- When assembling the lasagna start with the cooked pasta in the bottom, followed by the filling, the besciamella, the tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and shredded mozzarella cheese
- Add another layer of pasta and filling, besciamella, tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese and mozarella cheese.
- You can add a third layer or make this third layer the last one adding only besciamella, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese and some splotches of tomato sauce
- Once the lasagna is all assembled bake in the oven for 20 minutes. I you like it crunchy on top set the oven to broil for 5 minutes.