Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Tag Archives: homemade pasta

img_0012

Christmas dinner includes lasagna in our family. It can be traditional or meat sauced or veggie filled. This year it is white lasagna with spinach. One of our favorites and it melts in your mouth. For a holiday effect, decorate the top just before serving with chopped fresh tomato and chopped parsley.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all my readers. Hope you have a wonderful holiday.

Spinach Lasagna

For the white sauce

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
Salt & Pepper

Directions

In a medium saucepan melt butter over moderately low heat. Stir in flour and cook the roux, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add milk in a steady stream and bring mixture to a boil, whisking until thick and smooth.

Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer sauce over low heat, whisking occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until thickened. Transfer sauce to a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap.

Cheese Filling

img_0007

Ingredients

32 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
1-10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, plus extra for garnish
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Lasagna

1 lb.mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
White sauce, recipe above
12 parboiled spinach or plain lasagna noodles, fresh noodles if possible are best

Directions

Mix the ricotta with the spinach and the remaining filling ingredients together until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the lasagna.

Completing the Lasagna

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish.

Spread about 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of the dish and place a layer of noodles on top.

Spread one-third of the sliced mozzarella cheese on top of the pasta and then one-third of the ricotta cheese mixture over the mozzarella; top with another 1 cup of sauce.

Repeat the layers twice, then top with a layer of noodles. Spread 1 cup of sauce over the top layer of pasta.

img_0009

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes longer. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting. Sprinkle the top with extra parsley for added color.


2012 Marcella Hazan in her kitchen in Longboat Key, FL

Marcella Hazan has been called the godmother of Italian cuisine in America. She introduced Americans to regional Italian cooking, pure flavors, fresh and varied ingredients.

Marriage to Victor Hazan, a New Yorker, meant straddling the Old World and the New. In 1969, Marcella began teaching Italian-cooking classes out of their small apartment kitchen in midtown Manhattan. Her first American students were six ladies she met while taking a course in Chinese cooking. “What do you eat at home?” they wondered, and so Marcella introduced them to lamb kidneys, squid, rabbit and fish with the head on. Thus, began her teaching career.

Though 88, officially retired and wrestling with back and other health issues, Hazan continues to teach. This time it isn’t in a refurbished 16th century palazzo in Venice. It’s on Facebook.
Hazan has many ardent fans. And in the twilight of her career, they have found in her a willing and still feisty teacher happy to offer advice, challenge assumptions and continue to teach.

In her book,

Marcella Hazan devotes a chapter to, “Why and How You Should Be Making Your Own Egg Pasta”.  After a discussion about how commercially made pasta is produced, she comments, “ What one responds to in homemade pasta, is its lightness, its buttery texture, its suave entry into the mouth, a deeply satisfying cohesion of pasta and sauce, and a buoyant, palate caressing richness of taste.  The only  egg pasta that delivers such sensations is one that you make at home, using low-gluten white flour for your dough and thinning it with gradually applied light pressure. Take into account, moreover, that when you make your own pasta you can produce noodle shapes that are usually unavailable commercially….”
Marcella also recommends using modern conveniences in making homemade pasta. She says,” You need a food processor for kneading the dough and a pasta machine ”  for rolling and cutting. She also notes that she tested her recipes using these gadgets and the pasta was just fine.

Here is my version:

Why should you make homemade spaghetti when you can buy a box of dried spaghetti in your supermarket? Fresh pasta is not inherently better than dried pasta; it’s just different – definitely lighter and more delicate than dried pasta. Use dried pasta when you want to enjoy noodles with a lot of texture or for heavy sauces; use fresh when you want a softer, subtler dish that will let a delicate sauce shine. Making homemade pasta in our busy world cannot be a common occurrence but give yourself a treat, every once in awhile, so you can experience this unique taste. 

I prefer to mix the harder southern Semolina (durum) flour with the softer unbleached flour or the Italian 00 flour to give some extra body, gluten and flavor to the pasta. Italian-Style 00 flour makes a supple dough, that is smooth and easy to work with. The “00” refers to the grind of the flour, and how much of the wheat’s bran and germ have been removed, not to its protein level.

Whole eggs add an old World richness to the mix, which is why genuine fresh pasta has a yellowish hue like egg noodles. Extra virgin olive oil in my mix also adds moisture and flavor. Many recipes only call for salt in the boiling water. I use it in the mix and in the boiling water so the pasta will have flavor.

Fresh Pasta made using pasta machines from ACS

Homemade Spaghetti

If you would like a closer look at the photos in how to make the homemade spaghetti dough, you can double click them for an enlargement.

For a whole wheat version, substitute 1 cup of whole wheat flour for 1/2 cup of the all purpose flour and 1/2 cup of the semolina flour.

Ingredients:

1 cup unbleached flour or Italian 00 flour
1 cup Semolina durum flour
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup warm water, if needed
Heavy pinch of Kosher salt

Directions:

Ingredients for Homemade Spaghetti

Mixing dough

Put all of the ingredients in the large bowl of a processor. Pulse until the mixture begins to form a ball.

Dough forms a ball.

Remove dough from the bowl and form into a round ball.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1/2 hour.

Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Rolling the Dough

Preparing the dough with a hand crank pasta machine.

Divide dough into about 3″ x 2″ pieces. Dust the dough with flour on both sides if the dough is too sticky. Start thick and gradually crank to desired thinness.

Knead dough with the pasta maker rollers.

After the first pass through the machine, fold the dough in half to help develop the gluten. To make good straight edges, fold the ends of pasta sheet to the center and then rotate it 90º so that the folded edges are on the sides.

Next, move the rollers to the next smaller setting and run the dough through one time. Move to the next smaller setting and run the dough through again. Lightly flour the rolled dough strips as needed to prevent sticking in your pasta machine. 

Cut the kneaded dough in half before rolling through the last setting.

Keep rolling the dough through the next smaller setting until you have reached the second to the last setting, but you can roll the dough to whatever degree of thinness you prefer. I prefer the next to last setting for spaghetti.

As you move to the thinner settings, your pasta will become become more delicate. If it tears as you roll it through, don’t worry, it’s not ruined. You can simply fold the pasta and re-roll. However, I have found the pasta recipe that I am using is very supple and I have never had the dough tear.

Cutting the Spaghetti

Place the rolled dough strips on floured kitchen towels to dry for 10 -15 minutes.

When you have finished rolling the dough, let it dry on a cutting board or cloth for about 10-15 minutes. This will prevent sticking and will make it much easier to cut the dough in your pasta machine. Don’t let it get too dry or it will become stiff and brittle and will not feed through your machine. When the dough is finished drying, cut the dough into shorter strips to make it easier to cut in your machine.

Cut the dried dough strips in half lengthwise before cutting with the spaghetti roller.

Put the dough through the spaghetti roller.

As soon as you cut the pasta, either place the cut pasta on a floured flat surface or hang it on a pasta drying rack. 

Hang the cut spaghetti on a pasta tree.

You can also dry the spaghetti on floured kitchen towels.

This type of fresh pasta will stay fresh in the refrigerator for a few days, or it can be air dried on your pasta rack and then stored in an airtight container.

Since I make pasta early in the day, I place it in a container, sprinkled with semolina flour, and refrigerate the container until it is time to cook the pasta.

Fresh pasta can also be frozen in a vacuum bag. Do not keep dried fresh pasta out because of the eggs in the mixture.

Cooking Homemade Pasta

Note: Fresh pasta cooks very quickly.

Drop the pasta into a large pot of salted boiling water and boil until tender or “al dente” for about two to three minutes. Do not overcook the pasta to a mush. Drain well and serve.

Some Recipes To Cook After You Make the Spaghetti: 

Spaghetti all’Amatriciana

Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 pound pancetta, cut into 1/2-by- 1/4-inch strips
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons dry red wine
1-1/2 cups Pomi chopped tomatoes
½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt
1 recipe homemade spaghetti
Freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Directions:

In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately low heat until very soft, 7 minutes. Add the pancetta and cook until translucent, 3 minutes. Add the vinegar, wine, tomatoes, crushed red pepper and 2 tablespoons of water and simmer until thick, 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente; reserve 2 tablespoons of the cooking water. Drain the pasta, add it to the sauce along with the reserved cooking water and cook over moderate heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of cheese. Serve right away, passing more cheese at the table.

Spaghetti With Tomatoes, Capers and Olives

Serves 4

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, 2 sliced, 1 minced
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 ½ cups Pomi chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup green or black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped (2 ounces)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 recipe homemade spaghetti
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions:

Begin heating a large pot of water for the pasta. Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the sliced garlic over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan or skillet. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic turns golden, about two minutes. Do not let it take on any more color than this. Remove the garlic slices with a slotted spoon and discard, then add the bread crumbs to the pan. Turn the heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until the bread crumbs are crisp. Remove from the heat, and pour into a bowl.

Return the pan to medium heat, and add the remaining olive oil, the red pepper flakes and the minced garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds until the garlic smells fragrant, and add the tomatoes, capers and olives. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the tomatoes have cooked down and smell fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the spaghetti. Cook al dente,  drain, and toss with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and parsley on top, toss again briefly and serve, passing the Parmesan at the table.

Spaghetti with Broccoli Rabe

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 large bunch broccoli rabe, about 1 1/2 lb., ends trimmed
1 tablespoons plus 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 recipe homemade spaghetti
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
2 cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth 
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Cut off the broccoli rabe florets and coarsely chop the leaves and tender stems.

Bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil. Add the 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta and cook until al dente.

While the water is heating, in a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes.

Stir in half of the broccoli rabe, including the florets, coating them with the oil. Cook until the wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining broccoli rabe and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.

Pour in the broth and reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the broccoli rabe is tender, 8 to 10 minutes more. Stir in the 1/4 tsp. salt and season with pepper.

When the pasta is ready, drain. Place the pasta in a serving bowl and top with the broccoli rabe sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.                                                                                             

Marcella Hazan on her first date with now-husband Victor in Cesenatico, Italy, 1952

Related articles        


I remember very well my grandmother and my mother standing at their kitchen tables, first forming the pasta dough on a board with their hands and then rolling the dough with a long broom handle.
At the time, I thought this was too much work for pasta. After I was married, mixers and processors and pasta machines became very popular, so I was then willing to try my hand at this age-old tradition.

With modern equipment, making homemade noodles is not difficult and I have shortened the process as much as I can without losing taste or quality. Certainly this is not something you would do everyday, but it is fun to make your own pasta once in a while.

When you want something special for dinner, homemade lasagna is a really good choice and making your own lasagna noodles will take it a step further.

Lasagna made with homemade whole wheat spinach noodles tastes so much better than using the dried variety. Whole Wheat pasta made from scratch tastes entirely different from anything you can buy.

If you normally do not like store-bought whole wheat pasta, this recipe may change your mind. Homemade lasagna noodles do not need to be boiled before assembling the lasagna, thus another step is eliminated.

Homemade Spinach Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles

Makes 16 lasagna noodles

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed very dry
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup King Arthur semolina flour
  • 1 cup King Arthur white whole wheat flour
  • flour for board and rolling

Directions:

Place spinach, eggs, olive oil and salt in processor bowl. Cover and blend until pureed.

Add flours to spinach mixture and process until smooth and the dough forms a ball.

Place on a floured board, cover and let rest 10 minutes.

After the dough has rested, divide into 4 even pieces.

Set aside and cover 3 pieces while you work with the 4th. piece

Lightly dredge the working space and dough with whole wheat flour.

Flatten the dough with your hand so it will  feed through the smooth thinning rollers.

Roll the piece of dough through the largest setting on your machine.

Remove the dough, fold in thirds, so it is as wide as the machine roller.

Repeat the roll.

Cut the sheet in half.

Dial the machine down to the next smallest setting and roll each pasta strip through.

Continue to dial to the next setting.

Cut each strip in half again. Roll each strip making sure to dust with flour if the strips become sticky.

Dial to the 2nd to the last smallest setting and roll each strip.  You should have four strips each about 12-13 inches long and 3 inches wide.

Do not use the last setting because it will make the noodles too thin for lasagna.

Lay out three kitchen towels and sprinkle them with semolina flour.

Arrange the rolled out pasta strips on the towels and dust each with semolina flour.

Repeat the entire process with the other three pieces of  dough. You will have 16 strips.

If you are not ready to make the lasagna or you want to make the noodles the day before, you can place them in a container between sheets of waxed paper dusted with semolina flour, 2 noodle strips per layer, and refrigerate the container until you are ready to assemble the dish.

When it comes time to make the lasagna, you will place 4 pasta strips in a 13×9 inch baking dish and add  three more layers of 4 noodles in between layers of sauce and cheese.

Putting the Lasagna Together

Ingredients:

Filling:

Mix together all the ingredients, cover and refrigerate until you are ready to make the lasagna.

  • 3 cups skim milk ricotta
  • ½ lb mozzarella cheese chopped or shredded
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten or ½ cup egg substitute
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish with olive oil spray.
Spread 1 cup Bolognese sauce over bottom of prepared dish. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles in dish. Arrange 1/3 of the cheese filling on top.  Spoon 1 cup Bolognese sauce over cheese. Repeat layering 2 more times. Top with 4 lasagna noodles. Spread 1 to 1 1/2 cups sauce over the top.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Cover lasagna with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until noodles are tender and top is golden, about 15 -20 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Lasagna Ready To Be Baked.

If you would like to make whole wheat lasagna noodles without spinach, here is a recipe you can use:

Homemade Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur semolina flour
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Follow the directions above for making spinach whole wheat lasagna noodles.


Skinny Spatula

Healthy food that feels like a treat

Summer Yule Nutrition

Recipes for Weight Loss by a Registered Dietitian. No Added Sugar, No Refined Grains!

ACCREDITED SENIOR PSYCHOTHERAPIST / COUNSELLOR -Dr.Fawzy Masaoud-LONDON, ENGLAND

NO DESPAIR WITH LIFE AND NO LIFE WITH DESPAIR . Email: dr.fawzyclinic2019@yahoo.com

DESIGN

Design

Mustard Seed Budget

God's blessings in your life and ministry

She’s inspired

Inspired to inspire

Yardy Homemade Cooking Blog

#Homemade Jamaica Cooking Blog,

Dairy Free Indulgence

Take back your indulgences dairy-free & guilt free with surprisingly healthy recipes!

Generation of Travelers

Recollections, musings and random thoughts of unsound mind.

Блог красоты и здоровья от LiDea

О себе, о женщинах, об особенностях женского организма, об изменениях, связанных с возрастом. О красоте и здоровье, о том, чтобы сохранить их в условиях дефицита времени. О том, как сделать так, чтобы чувствовать себя королевой, чтобы окружающие видели её в вас.

Life and Life Lessons

discover what's in my heart, let our minds travel and discover, see the world in my head

natinkadrawstheline

Gezeichnetes, Gemaltes, Geschriebenes

All Things Nice

A website about ‘all things nice!’

Karla Sullivan

Progressive old soul wordsmith

STAY AT HOME MOM

Be an observer, and rock your life....

Reign 'n Spain

An American expat living, cooking, and eating in Valencia, Spain.

MODEL ELENA MOLLY MURGU

model elena Molly murgu NYC

Wee Scottish Mum

Easy recipes & meal planning for hungry bellies!

New foody in Switzerland

trying to cook new things

Amazing Tangled Grace

A blog about my spiritual journey in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Chirpy Home

Bringing Happiness to Your Home

Islesof/

Treasure

Fishing Maverick

Gone Fishing

FOOD RECIPES

A variety of recipes that you should try

INFJ PHD

Valuing quiet and solitude in academe.

Food A La Scott

I like to eat a tremendous amount of food and share it with people.

Joy's Food Trips

Food Recipe Ingredients

BRAINCHILD

gehadsjourney.wordpress.com

mrsloveis

The Cooking, The Wedding Planning, The Life, The All.

Taiba's Recipe

Make Food By Heart

Practically Country

Country living in a practical way!

Easy Healthy Recipes

WE ARE FULL OF FOOD WONDERS

Pleasant Tasting

Tradition with fusion

redcrosse10999

General Blog Site of General Things

Diabetes Diet

The best diet for optimal blood sugar control & health

Level Up Stud

Physique, Mindset, Money & More

EnigmaDebunked

Thoughts that provoke yours. (Season II coming in Jan 2020)

COOKING WITH LUCE

DISCOVERING MY INNER CHEF

EVERYDAY EATS WITH TARA

Just a busy mom who makes fresh and healthy-ish food for her toddler

GOLD RECIPES.

GOLD RECIPES.

b2d Plate

Breakfast to dinner meal ideas

Lifestyle Blog | Dominicka Teague

Sharing my take on the simplicity of fashion, lifestyle, travel and more.

%d bloggers like this: