Homemade lasagne sheets will bake the softest of lasagne. Once you taste a forkful of lasagne made with them, you would be reluctant to go back to that box of dried lasagne sheets.


This recipe for pasta dough is egg based. Recipes for egg pasta doesn’t vary much – all-purpose/plain flour and eggs in a ratio of ~100g flour to 1 large egg. The flour could be a mix of all-purpose and semolina. Eggs could be a combination of whole eggs and egg yolks. I stick to all-purpose flour as semolina flour produces a sturdier pasta and I want soft pillowy sheets of pasta. ~3 egg yolks replaces 1 whole egg. So you could replace 1/3 of the total amount with egg yolks which makes for a more luxurious silky pasta. Making fresh pasta is messy. There is no denying it. Your kitchen would be floury – floors, everything! But, no boxed pasta can replace the feel of teeth biting into velvety smooth, tender, freshly made pasta. For that, I am willing to take mop to hand and clean up my kitchen. To find out how I minimise turning my kitchen into a floury fairy land, please scroll down to ‘Tips‘. Recipe for my Lasagne will be in the upcoming post.

Lasagne – The Fresh Pasta Sheets

Prep:

20 minutes

Cook:

For use in lasagne, I add rolled sheets (no need to precook) directly with other lasagne ingredients.
For cut pasta, in boiling salted water, depending on how thick or thin you cut them, it is quick, ~ 2 -3 minutes.

Inactive:

1 hour

Level:

Easy but messy

Makes:

1.43lbs (650g) Enough to make 2 trays of lasagne. 

Oven Temperature:

Can recipe be doubled?

Make ahead?

Dough can be made the night before and refrigerated. 

Ingredients

14.1 oz (400g) all-purpose/plain flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs + 3 egg yolks* (~1 cup) yolks=silkier pasta sheets
OR
4 eggs (~1 cup)
What to do with egg whites? Scroll down to ‘Tips’.


Method

Using my standing mixer -KitchenAid
You will need a standing mixer that is powerful enough. Those handheld mixers will not do. Alternatively, you could mix the dough in a food processor but kneading will have to be done by hand.

1. Mix flour and salt in the mixer bowl. Beat the eggs/egg yolks to mix.
2. Attach the dough hook. Turn the machine on medium-low (dial 3 on KitchenAid) and steadily pour in the beaten eggs.


3. This looks dry and I had to add an extra Tablespoon of egg (you could use the egg whites leftover from the yolks). Otherwise, replace whites with water.

4. This looks better but we still need to machine knead it for ~10 minutes to get it smooth and pliable.

5. The dough looked smooth but when I pulled on it, it was not very pliable. It felt tight and a tad dry. It should feel a little sticky. So I added another tablespoon of egg whites/water.


6. This dough looks smooth like the picture above but it is pliable and feels a little sticky. That’s good.


7. Shape into a ball, flour the vessel it will be resting in or it will stick, cover tightly and let it rest for 1 hour. It will be impossibly hard to roll out the dough if you do not let it rest for that hour. If you will not be using it after an hour, let it rest in the refrigerator instead.  Why does this dough look a lighter shade from the one above? The lighting was bad (it was already evening).

Rolling out the dough
1. After the dough has had its 1 hour resting time, slice into 6 equal portions. Uncovered dough dries up very quickly and I find it best to keep it under a sheet of plastic and in an airtight container. Kitchen towels alone do not offer enough protection.

2. As far as possible, I work my pasta outdoors as it minimises clean up. Have the following items as indicated in the picture below ready.
3. Dust with flour, the pasta machine and the surface area where the rolled pasta would land.

4. My pasta machine dial runs from 1 to 7 (being the thinnest). Set the dial at 1 (the widest setting).
5. Remove one pre-cut dough, flatten and run it through the rollers. Fold it into a rectangle and run it through Dial 1 again. Dust with flour if necessary.

6. You will be working the pasta through consecutively narrower settings through dials 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Dust with flour when necessary. I cheat though. Most times, after it goes going through Dial 1, I just run them through dials, 2, 4 and 6.


7. After the pasta is rolled through Dial 6, you must roll the pasta through Dial 7. Makes the sheets thin and pillowy soft. Dust with flour if necessary.


8. This is how thin the pasta sheets should look if you are going to use it for lasagne. If you place your arm behind the pasta sheet, you should be able to see its silhouette. The narrowest or the second to narrowest dial setting would be suitable for lasagne and folded pasta, for instance, ravioli. When I making lasagne, I not only do not pre-cook the pasta sheets, I use it immediately on the sauces and cheeses. This allows me to roll out the sheets to the thinnest setting and that means the pasta sheets cooks up soft and silky and the mouth feel is incredibly smooth.

9. If you intend to use the pasta for cut pasta, I would recommend stopping at the second to last narrowest dial setting. If rolled too thin, it might be difficult to handle.

Storing the rolled pasta
1. To store the pasta, dust with enough flour/semolina (or a mixo of the 2) to avoid sticking. Ensure cut strands are separated, dust with sufficient flour/semolina (or a mix of the 2) and twine into a little nest. Let it dry out on the cooling racks. I keep my pasta in the refrigerator as I am not comfortable storing egg pasta out of the fridge.


Pasta trimmings – the odds and ends
1. Do not be tempted to reroll the trimmings into sheets of pasta. I tried that and they have always cooked up hard. Better to cut the trimmings into somewhat similar surface areas (so that they will cook at about the same time), and either cook it shortly or store them away refrigerated.

Cooking the cut pasta
1. Cooking is swift compared to store bought pasta, ~ 2 to 3 minutes in boiling salted water should be sufficient.

Tips

1. Minimising the floury mess
-Work outdoors
This is ideal if the weather cooperates. Clean up is minimal. No need to mop the floor or kitchen counter of flour. I always try and work on my pasta sheets outdoors.
-Spread out dampen kitchen towel(s) on your exposed work surface
This helps to capture the lighter than feather flour and prevent it from drifting off further down to the floor.
-Spread out dampen flour mat(s) on the floor area where you will be standing to make pasta
This not only captures any fly away flour, it prevents your feet from transferring any floury debris to other areas of the kitchen.

2. Desserts you can make with leftover egg whites

(1) Pavlova Gluten Free Dessert
Crisp exterior and a melt-in-your-mouth interior


(2) Chocolate Pavlova Gluten Free Dessert
Chocolate meringue with chocolate nuggets inside.

(3)  Fluffiest Dollar Pancakes

These remind me of a fast food chain’s pancakes but taste so much better.

WHAT’S COMING UP NEXT?

The recipe for the sauce and cheeses that goes into the lasagne and how to assemble so that the dish is lovely and moist.

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