I think if there’s anything that we could get everyone in the whole world to agree on, it’s that lasagna is good. Garfield really knew what he was talking about. (OK, so some people are allergic to wheat, but there’s gotta be a gluten-free version of it out there somewhere.) Am I right?
Lasagna has become somewhat of a staple in our house as of late. Josh loves lasagna and I’ve discovered it’s actually really easy to make as long as I keep some ricotta cheese in the fridge. Even as leftovers it’s a favorite.
Another thing I’ve discovered is that making your own lasagna noodles is really easy and worth it because you avoid the hassle of pre-cooking it and it cuts down on the baking time a lot. Plus since we try to incorporate our own whole wheat flour into everything we can, making our own whole wheat pasta is perfect. And probably healthier than store-bought pasta, although I couldn’t tell you exactly why off the top of my head. I’ll have to research that for you sometime.
So… here’s the step-by-step on making your own whole wheat lasagna. (This recipe is based off of the one in the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook but I didn’t follow it exactly.)
Here’s two cups of flour and some basil and a dash of salt. (I use a really tiny pan to make my lasagna because I’m only feeding two people. If you’re using a normal sized pan, you’ll probably want to double or triple the quantities.)
Stir it all together and make a well in the center.
Now take two beaten eggs in a separate bowl…
…and mix in 1/3 cup of water and a teaspoon of oil.
Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix it all together.
I usually mix it with a fork until I can’t anymore, then use my hand to combine the rest of it. There was way too much flour in it so I threw out the extra flour that I couldn’t get mixed in. The dough was just getting too hard.
See how solid that dough is? Pasta dough is supposed to be pretty dense, but I think I went a little overboard. Try starting out this recipe with a cup and half of flour instead of two. When you’re using whole wheat flour, you usually don’t need to use as much as you would with all-purpose flour.
Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes. I don’t know how necessary this step is but I did it anyway.
In the meantime, I traced my lasagna pan onto some wax paper to use as a guide when rolling out the dough.
I usually use three layers of pasta in my lasagna, so I divided the dough into three pieces.
Place your prepared wax paper ink side down on the counter and get ready to roll out your first layer.
***Warning: if you used permanent marker, you may get permanent marker ink all over your counter top.
Roll out your pasta dough with a rolling pin until it covers all the lines. The dough is pretty hard so this step is a pain in the butt. If you have a pasta maker consider yourself very, very lucky.
Trim the excess with a butter knife.
Repeat this process until you have as many lasagna sheets as you want.
Here are my three pretty lasagna sheets!
Now just assemble your lasagna using your favorite recipe and bake it in the oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. I did 400 degrees for just 30 minutes because I was in a hurry and it turned out just fine. (But my pan is tiny. If you’re using a normal sized lasagna pan you might not get away with just 30 minutes.)
And there you have it! I think the whole wheat gives the dish a lot more substance and extra flavor.
Don’t be afraid to make your own pasta. All you need is flour, egg, water, and oil… it’s impressive and it saves money 🙂