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How do you make flat pasta? (lasagna)

Hi all.... attached is a photo of the most delicious lasagna I think I have ever had. There were layers and layers of flat, thin pasta + incredible sauce.... flaky cheese..... yyyuummmm

Anyone have any recipes for a lasagna like this? I do not have a pasta maker; any way to make pasta like this without a pasta maker?

 
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  1. Sounds like you just discovered the Hazan maxim: It's all about the pasta.

    You might take a look at her Essentials book, or here's a paraphrase I posted a while back: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/352032 . But any really good Italian cookbook will tell you how to make lasaga with homemade pasta. You can roll the pasta by hand, and there have been reports from people on this board who have done so. But it's far, far easier to use a pasta roller and well worth buying one if it's something you think you might want to do with any regularity.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JoanN

      Joan, thank you! thank you! I can't wait to try.

      1. re: JoanN

        I have started making pasta and don't have a machine. It takes very little time to roll out a good dough that's not too stiff. I can roll out a dough that is thin enough to see through in around 10 min of rolling. You reallly need a good large work surface. My 15X18 boos board doesn't cut it. When the dough is to the thickness you want just dust it and roll into a tube and cut with a knife to the desired width.

      2. I think this is the longest recipe I've seen.

        Six Cheese Lasagna
        Lasagna with meat and cheese.

        Serves: 8

        The most expensive part of a good lasagna is the cheese. Don't stint
        on either the quality or the quantity of cheese you use.

        Sauce:

        • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
        • 2 teaspoon chopped garlic
        • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
        • ½ teaspoon dried basil
        • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
        • 1 28-ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes, whole
        • 1 28-ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes, crushed
        • ¼ teaspoon salt

        Ingredients:

        • ½ pound ground round
        • ½ pound ground Italian sausage
        • 1 medium onion, chopped
        • 8 ounces lasagna noodles
        • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
        • 10 ounces fresh spinach, picked and well washed
        • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
        • ½ cup Fontina cheese, shredded
        • ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
        • ½ cup Provolone cheese, shredded
        • ½ cup finely grated Romano cheese
        • ½ cup Asiago cheese, shredded
        • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
        • ½ pint heavy whipping cream

        Directions:

        1. Make the sauce first.
        2. Drain the whole tomatoes (reserve the juice) and cut into quarters.
        3. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat till the oil
        shimmers.
        4. Sauté the garlic and crushed red pepper for about a
        minute--until you can smell the garlic.
        5. Add the tomatoes, the reserved juice, basil, oregano, and
        salt.
        6. Bring to a boil, and lower the heat to medium-low.
        7. Simmer for about an hour, uncovered, stirring now and then.
        8. In a black cast iron pot, brown ground round and Italian sausage with chopped onions over medium-high heat.
        9. Continue to chop and cook meat until it separates, grain for grain. After meat is browned, drain the excess fat.
        10. Pre-heat oven to 250° F.
        11. Cook the lasagna noodles, four at a time, in two gallons of boiling water with 1 Tablespoon salt and 1 Tablespoon oil until al dente, about 3 minutes.
        12. Drain, rinse well to keep from sticking and set aside.
        13. Cook the spinach in the same water you used to cook the pasta, just
        for a minute.
        14. Remove spinach with a slotted spoon, drain, and spread out.
        15. Mix Fontina cheese, Romano cheese, Provolone cheese and Romano cheese together.
        16. In a glass or ceramic baking dish (about 9"x13"x4"), pour about ¼
        cup of olive oil on the bottom and spread it up the sides then cover it with a layer of pasta – lengthwise across the pan.
        17. Pour a cup of the tomato sauce over the pasta and spread it out.
        18. Sprinkle about ½ cup of the dry cheese mixture over sauce.
        19. Lay down, at right angles to the sheets of pasta in the first layer, another layer of pasta.
        20. Cover this with another layer of sauce then add the browned meat and onion mixture.
        21. Add another layer of pasta, at right angles.
        22. Cover pasta with a cup of sauce and top the sauce with the spinach and spread it out.
        23. Layer pasta, sauce and all of the ricotta cheese.
        24. Top with another layer of pasta, remaining sauce and cheeses.
        25. Cover the casserole with foil.
        26. Put the casserole in the center of the oven and bake for one hour or until heated through.
        27. Remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes or so, until the top
        gets slightly crusty.
        28. After taking it out of the oven, allow the lasagna to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
        29. Slice into eight pieces and serve.
        30. Enjoy!

        2 Replies
        1. re: speyerer

          Not so bad. Actually sounds pretty delicious!

          1. re: speyerer

            SIX cheeses?!?

            (I think the nation of Italy just collectively felt a disturbance in the force :-)

          2. No pasta maker? Use a rolling pin. That will get your dough flat.

            1. From what I can see of your picture, it appears that what is standing in for the traditional noodle is some sort of crepe like thing....at least that's what it looks like to me (I see the little tell tale browned ridges). Do you recall if that's what it looked like to you?

              4 Replies
              1. re: HungryRubia

                Hi! That is so funny you say that because I was wondering if I could substitute a crepe or some sort of pastry dough in its place. In fact, searched crepes on CH to see if there were any recipes, but just came up with this thread (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/352196).

                HOWEVER, the pasta in the lasagna really had more of a flour-ey, pasta-ey taste than a crepe or sweeter-type dough.

                I had this dish in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was so beautiful and so outstandingly, mouthwateringly delicious that I *had* to take a photograph it.

                I am grateful for any replication. Do you think it would be a crime to substitute a crepe in lasagna? What would that do to the integrity of the dish? (Though, I have to say, I am anxious to try Hazan's recipe... I was scoping out the recipe earlier today).

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/460104

                1. re: Tehama

                  My family lives in Dominican Republic and have Italian born friends who make canneloni with very thin savory crepes. They don't let them brown too much, and they are obviously savory, so I don't see why you couldn't use them for your lasagna.
                  That being said, I have made Marcella's pasta recipe (for tagliatelle not lasagna) and it turned out great. I say try both and see which you like best.

                  1. re: Tehama

                    What a picture, and motivating one at that! Just beautifully done!!!
                    I so want to make my own pasta!!!

                    An Italian friend's mom would make the best cannelloni using homemade pasta that after cooked was so delicate and light I would think it was a crepe batter but it wasn't. She was just that good at making pasta dough.
                    I have a machine, I have no excuse!!!
                    You go first, I'll follow!

                    1. re: Tehama

                      The Italian name for crepes is crespelle--if you search on that you might have more luck finding Italian recipes!

                      However, I would just go for making the thinnest noodles that you can and modifying an existing recipe for more and thinner layers. It's not terribly difficult to make pasta, and I think it's a lot of fun. I do find it easier to work with a dough made from semolina rather than AP flour, but I think it makes for a heavier noodle. You might try Italian 00 flour if you really want something light.

                  2. Many years ago as a newly wed I made my noodles and lasagna by hand. I rolled it out on my kitchen table which was well floured. It helped that I had an antique maple pin which my M-I-L said was made for rolling out noodles. I still have it and it is about 1.5" in diameter, that large. It is totally straight, no ball bearings etc. It worked very well but I was very glad when the day came that I could by a pasta machine that I still have after 30+ years. They are not very expensive and just don't seem to wear out. I think I would like to get the rollers that go on the Kitchen Aid, this would help with not needing an extra hand at times.