Monday, November 22, 2010
Spinach Lasagna With Homemade Pasta
I suspect what really made this special wasn't the fresh pasta, but the assortment of cheeses therein. I am fortunate enough to live within an hour's drive of a grocer in Iowa that has the world's most amazing selection of cheese ends. Really, I plan trips to Iowa around this place. Anyway, the combination of Parmesan, Romano, Pecorino, and oddly enough, Swiss really came together for an interesting dish. I also used sieved cottage cheese, as I almost never have ricotta on hand. 4% cottage cheese, drained and forced through a fine sieve is a pretty good filling for most pasta dishes-I've had great success using it for ravioli.
This is a bit of work, but if you're having vegetarians over for Thanksgiving (provided they do eggs and dairy) this might be a nice thing to serve. It re-heats quite well, and isn't half-bad cold either.
You Will Need:
For the Pasta:
3 large egg yolks plus 1 whole large egg
3 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups semolina flour
(about) 1 cup AP flour plus more for dusting
Beat the eggs until light. Beat in water and salt. Beat in semolina, then slowly add enough AP flour until you have a stiff dough. Roll into a ball, wrap in cling film and let rest 30 minutes. Roll out thin, dry for an hour on racks, then boil gently for a few minutes. Proceed with assembling dish.
For the Spinach Filling:
3 cups 4 % cottage cheese, drained and forced through a fine sieve
1 teaspoon dried garlic granules
Pepper to taste
3 blocks frozen spinach, cooked, drained and squeezed dry in a dishtowel
2 large eggs
Combine all, mix well.
For the Sauce:
2 cups skim milk (I think you have enough fat in the cottage cheese, etc.)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons Wondra flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until it comes to a boil. Cook one minute longer, Remove from heat, cool slightly before using.
You need about 4 cups shredded cheese-use a combination of hard, and soft cheeses for a good effect. I find Swiss works really well, but if you prefer mozzarella, go ahead and use it. Provolone is always nice too.
Assemble your lasagna, making sure the top layer is sauce and cheese. Bake in a 9x13 pan, in a 350 degree F. oven for about an hour, or until top is nicely browned and bubbly. let stand a few minutes before cutting.