Three Cheese Lasagna
Birthday is my favorite holiday! And I just absolutely love it when the people I love allow me to celebrate another year of their life! I know that some people struggle with this idea, and have a hard time allowing others to love them, and to show their love to them. When they do, nothing makes me more excited than to cook something lovely for them. And I had just that opportunity last week! A lovely man I know just turned another year older and was kind enough to give me an evening of his time. For that, I thank him with pasta and cake.
Three Cheese Lasagna
- For Pasta
2 1/2 C Flour
4 Eggs (room temperature)
1 T Salt
- For Filling
3 C. Ricotta
4 Oz Goat cheese
1/2 C Parmesan cheese
2 Jars spaghetti sauce
4 C. Mozzarella Cheese
- To make the pasta:
- Mound your flour on a clean, dry surface and make a well in the middle.
- Lightly scramble your eggs in a bowl then pour them into the well in the middle of the flour mound.
- Season with salt.
- Use a fork to whisk the flour from the outside to the middle and combine with the eggs until you have a sticky mess of a mound of dough.
- Scrape your scraps of dough off of the work surface, then lightly flour the surface and your hands.
- Kneed dough for 5 minutes – no less – then cover with a clean towel and let it rest for 20 minutes.
- Break the dough apart into 6 equal parts (mine were 4 oz each) and flatten into a rectangle.
- Run through your pasta maker until it is 1/16 inch thick (number 6 on a kitchen aid pasta maker.
- Lay the noodles on parchment paper until ready to cook, then cut into 11 inch pieces.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and drop in the noodles, two or three at a time.
- Cook for about 30 seconds, then lay flat until ready to use.
- To assemble the lasagna:
- Combine cheeses and eggs in a bowl and mix to combine.
- Separate the cheese into two equal amounts.
- In your 9×13 baking dish, spread about 3/4 c. sauce.
- Lay noodles on top of the sauce, then top with 1/2 the cheese mixture.
- Pour sauce over top, then cover with mozzarella cheese and another layer of noodles.
- Top those noodles with the remaining cheese mixture, more mozzarella cheese and sauce.
- Top that sauce with another layer of noodles, then more sauce and mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with foil, bake for 45 minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 350º
I made a pledge to myself that on a weeknight I would never again make both the pasta sauce and noodles for a dish from scratch. Since it’s easy to fancy up pasta sauce in a jar, I decided to make the noodles for this lasagna from scratch. You’ve seen my pictures before of what a complete and total mess I am in the kitchen with my pasta maker! This was no different.
Important tips for making your pasta that I’ve learned over the past few months:
1. ROOM TEMPERATURE EGGS MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE! They grab the flour better and combine into a much smoother dough.
2. As you are kneading, DO NOT JUDGE YOUR DOUGH. Wait until its fully combined before you start to panic. So often I’ll be about a minute or two into kneading and think that it couldn’t possibly work, but then after the full 5 minutes, all of a sudden, what you have is something magical.
3. More eggs!!! Some recipes call for 2 or 3 eggs. I have begun using at least 4. Even the large eggs at the store aren’t that big. If your past a seems way too crumbly, add another egg. You’ll know this before you start kneading.
4. Break your eggs up prior to putting them in the well. I wouldn’t say scramble them, but take a fork and break up the yolk.
I have very limited counter space so I have to be very very creative with what I do have. I use my bar top table, the bench seat covered in parchment and my counter top to ensure I have enough room. Once your noodles are made, get your other ingredients combined.
Some recipes say to use 1/2 c. sauce on the bottom of the pan but I use more, and kind of just eyeball it. When making fresh noodles, you may find that the sizes are all a little different. I kind of cut mine to make them fit the pan. The reason I said to separate your cheese mixture into two equal parts is because I often short myself on the first layer because I get worried that I won’t have enough for the top layer then end up having a lot left over and thinner layers than I want.
All ready to go in the oven! Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake a few extra minutes, until the cheese on top is nice and brown. The goat cheese mixed in gives this lasagna a rich and creamy flavor. I loved it! You can add in spinach, mushrooms, onions or ground beef if you want to.