Sunday, February 21, 2010
A few times that we've made homemade pasta, we rolled out the dough and discovered that we had more than we wanted. This happens especially when we're making ravioli or another filled pasta, and don't have as much filling as dough. When this happens, we leave the dough un-cut, wrap it in wax paper, and freeze it for later.
Thus, near the end of January, we found ourselves with a fair amount of frozen lasanga noodle, some mushrooms, some ricotta, a bunch of spinach, and cans of tomatoes from last summer. The dinner, then, was obvious.
For easy lasagna, defrost the noodles enough that you can lay them out in a single layer (work in batches) in a glass pan. Bring the tea kettle to a boil, and pour the boiling water over the noodles. This will cook them just the right amount to then assemble into the casserole. Always saute the spinach before including it in the casserole, as otherwise it will reduce in the oven and throw off the volume. I like to saute it with onions, garlic, and the mushrooms. I generally mix an egg into the ricotta, along with salt, pepper, italian herbs, and any other cheeses (mozzarella and italian hard cheeses are good choices). Assemble the casserole, starting with noodles and ending with noodles and a thin layer of tomatoes or cheese on the top, and with at least one more noodle layer in the middle. Bake at least 40 minutes.