Making fresh lasagna noodles
The instant, dried variety of lasagna available in supermarkets is pretty good these days, and is so quick and easy to use that fewer people take the time to make the pasta noodles from scratch anymore. However, it can be very satisfying to make your own pasta, and knowing how to make a basic pasta dough is invaluable when wanting to ensure the use of certain ingredients in your cooking – organic or gluten-free flour, free-range eggs and so on. What’s more, home-made pasta is really delicious if done correctly, and knowing it’s made fresh adds something a little special to a home-cooked pasta meal.
Most of the recipes included on www.vegetarianlasagna.net use instant lasagna sheets, but these can all be substituted with the fresh variety, although please note that cooking times will be different. Fresh pasta usually takes around half the time to cook.
Basic Lasagna Dough
200g plain white flour
extra flour for dusting
a pinch of salt
2 large free-range eggs, beaten
1 Tbsp olive oil
Sift the flour and salt on to a clean bench, sweep mixture together gently and then make a well in the middle with your fist. Pour the beaten eggs and the oil into the well and slowly mix together with your fingers. Knead the dough for around 10 – 15 minutes until it is smooth and feels elastic.
Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a damp tea towel to rest for at least 30 minutes, but preferably 1 – 2 hours. (Alternatively, the dough may also be wrapped in cling-film and placed in the fridge to rest.)
Place the rested dough on a clean surface which has been lightly dusted with flour. Use a rolling pin (also lightly dusted) to carefully roll the dough out. Lasagna sheets need to be very thin, so aim for evenly spread sheets around 2 mm thick. Cut the dough into your desired square or rectangular sheets. Place the freshly cut sheets of lasagna under a clean, damp tea towel until ready to cook.