Not your typical Lasagna…
I was sitting at the counter thinking about what I needed for groceries and trying to prep the meals I would make. Lasagna is one I don’t make often because it is always so heavy with noodles & cheese. I don’t make a homemade meal every single night. When I do, it’s mostly healthy spaghetti, ground turkey tacos or fish with vegetables.
So a lot of these meals on my blog are very much “comfort food”. Meaning…it’s not what we eat all the time. However, I still work hard on my recipes to make sure they’re something I will make again and again. I have a desire to make homemade meals for my husband and kids. Hopefully, one day, even grand kids or whoever wants to eat my food. 🙂 I want to make happy memories with my family & when they get older I hope those meals can connect them to their childhood memories.
I like to call this post… “Why make something easy, when you can make it hard?” (rofl) I’m a little crazy. I am a very unique individual and like things “different”. So this Lasagna makes me feel “me”. 🙂
In all seriousness…I have made the typical lasagna for years! Ya know, the kind where you buy boxed noodles & canned sauce. I would use regular ground beef and just whatever cheese I had around. I got tired of that kind of lasagna. So I started trying to experiment on making a different lasagna recipe. I’ve even spent $8.00 on a specialty marinara before.(insert face palm) Then I was like…I can make my own sauce cheaper than this and I imagine it would be way better & HAVE LEFTOVERS!
The best part is… You know what is inside your food when you make everything from scratch! Below is a picture of the ingredients in Boxed Pasta & Jar Marinara.
I actually had most of the ingredients already so there I went for practicing on a homemade marinara sauce for our lasagna & spaghetti. This whole lasagna should feed about 8-12 people! For the price of homemade noodles, homemade marinara & the cheese is SUPER AFFORDABLE! My husband called this lasagna, “The Lasagna that fed the thousands“. (lol) This Lasagna is great for a family meal, company or to bring to a loved one.
Heads up…You will want to start your marinara about 2 hours before to have time to simmer.
What you will need…
INGREDIENTS FOR MARINARA SAUCE
- (1-2 pds) Italian Sausage OR (1 pd) Italian Sausage & (1 pd) Ground Beef
- (2) 28 oz Can of Crushed Tomatoes
- (2-3) Garlic Cloves (Minced)
- (1) Small Sweet Onion (Chopped)
- (2 tbsp) Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- (2 tbsp) Dried Basil
- (1 tsp) Dried Oregano
- (1 tsp) Dried Parsley
- (3 tbsp) Sugar
- Salt and pepper(to taste)
- In your pan (Use a large pan like a Dutch Oven with a lid) add your 2 tbsp EVOO and heat to medium heat.
- Begin dicing your Onion. Add Onion to your heated pan.
- Peel, Smash & Mince your Garlic. (you can also use minced garlic in a jar, 2 tbsp)
- Once your Onions look as they have colored and softened. Add your Garlic.
- Let them simmer for a couple minutes while stirring here and there.
- Then add your meat! I just used 1 pd of Italian Sausage. Cook until brown. (do not strain meat)
- Turn heat on Low
- Add your 2 cans of crushed Tomatoes to your pan. Stir.
- Add ALL of your SEASONINGS! Salt, Pepper, Basil, Oregano, Parsley & Sugar. Stir.
- Cover your pan. Keep heat on low. Check about every 10-15 minutes and stir.
- Simmer on Low for an hour.
- Begin your noodles once you add the seasonings & cover the lid.
INGREDIENTS FOR HOMEMADE LASAGNA NOODLES
- (2 1/2 cups) All Purpose Flour, plus extra for dusting
- (4) Eggs
- (2 tsp) Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Thinking out of the “box”
Of all the many lasagnas I’ve made & ate, I had never thought anything of it until one day. It was like a light bulb went off in my head. I make homemade dumplings. I make homemade biscuits. Why can’t I make homemade noodles. So I started working on them for a soft lasagna noodle. It was so fun to make and just like everything in the kitchen is to me…THERAPY. 🙂
I’ve not tried this noodle recipe for anything other than lasagna. So far, It has worked out wonderfully! My husband & kids love the texture it gives the lasagna! (as do I) So let’s get started…
Homemade Lasagna Noodles
- After your marinara has been simmering about an hour. Pour 2 cups of the flour into a mound into a large shallow bowl. With your fingers, gently make a well large enough to hold the eggs in the center of the mound.
- Crack the eggs into a large measuring cup and check for shells. Add the oil to the measuring cup and then pour the egg-oil mixture into the well.
- Using a fork, carefully whisk the eggs in the well, without drawing in any flour, until they are just mixed together.
- Use the fork to gradually draw the flour into the center by pulling in the flour from the sides going in a circle. Stir it together with the egg-oil mixture.
- Gently draw in more flour and mix it in this way until all of the flour is blended in and you have your dough.
- Use your hands to bring the dough into a ball. When all the flour is combined, if the dough is still sticky, sprinkle more flour over the dough, a little at a time, and mix it in.
- Dust the clean surface with flour. Transfer the dough to the floured surface and knead it by pushing down and away from you and turning it repeatedly until the dough feels smooth. (7 to 10 minutes) Sprinkle on more flour if the dough becomes sticky or soft during kneading.
- Clear away most of the excess flour on the work surface. Shape the dough into a ball by rolling it in a circle with both hands, applying pressure to the bottom so that the dough tucks under itself and the ball tightens up a little. (I know it sounds a little complicated. It is fun though!)
- Cover the ball with a large overturned bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes before rolling.
- Light your stove top to medium/high heat.
- Add your large pan of water to stove top for your noodles.
- Uncover. Add quite a bit of flour on top of your dough ball. Flour your roller pin. Begin rolling your dough ball. This may take a few minutes to get it completely flat. Add flour as needed. Try not to let it stick to the roller. (messy, messy, messy)
- *Make sure your water is boiling & PREHEAT your oven to 350 degrees. *
- Begin using a pizza cutter to make vertical and horizontal noodles. I used a 9×13 glass pan. So I eye balled it of the length of a ft. long then cut there. (just imagine a subway foot long sandwich)
- Boil for just a few minutes! Maybe 5? I’m honestly not sure about this because I eye ball it. I also get a fork and cut a side of a noodle off and taste test!! That’s more accurate than a timer to me. You’re looking for Al Dente pasta.
- Strain your noodles. Let them sit out for a few minutes to cool off.
- Spray your glass pan with Pam nonstick spray.
- Begin layering your noodles. Layer the bottom.
- Then add a light layer of your marinara sauce and spread evenly. (estimate 1 cup or 1 1/2 cup per layer)
- Add your Fresh Parmesan Cheese, Italian Shredded Cheese & Mozzarella to your first layer. Cover to where you can’t see the sauce or noodles. (you can also add Ricotta but my family doesn’t like that)
- Add your second layer of noodles on top of the cheese layer.
- Repeat Marinara Sauce & Cheese layer.
- Continue with layers if you have enough. I like to do 3 layers. The last layer ending with a whole lot of Cheese!!!
- Sprinkle with Dried Parsley over cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and sides are a little golden browned.
- LET COOL & SIT for about 10 minutes before cuting!
I really hope you try this recipe! It is so delish! The noodles won my family over. It was like eating Italian Clouds!
As always…Love & Blessings