Vegetable Lasagne with Homemade Pasta Dough

So it’s been a while again since my last post, but today I am bringing you my most epic post yet! Some of the recipes I’ve done so far have been labour intensive and others have been pretty easy. This definitely falls in the former category. In total, this was about a 5 hour process, but in the end it was all worth it. The lasagne was made extra special by the fact that I also made my own dough! So have fun reading, because this is gonna be a bit of a long post.

Let’s start with what Jamie calls the “Royal Pasta Dough”. I’ve never made pasta dough before, so this was a first. I started off by mixing fine white flour and semolina together in a bowl. Then it required me to separate 12 eggs and dump then in with a bit of water and extra virgin olive oil. The kneading process took about 5-6 minutes and I added a little bit of extra water to get it to the correct consistency. I put it in plastic wrap for 30 minutes, at which point I started on the filling.

The filling starts with cutting up some egg plant and squash and roasting it in the oven for about 50 minutes. I tossed the squash in coriander, chilli powder, salt, pepper and a bit of oil. The egg plant just needs some salt and pepper and again, a bit of oil.

The next step was starting the veg sauce. Onion, celery and carrots are the base. Chop all that up with some rosemary leaves and cook for 15 minutes. Then add wine to cook away. Next is adding canned tomatoes, (previously dried) mushrooms and some water. Last step happens when the egg plant is done. I crushed the garlic over the egg plant, added balsamic vinegar and then added all that to the pot to cook for 10 more minutes.

Once the squash was done, I just mashed it up and had it ready to go. One last veg to go in was spinach. I used a combination of frozen and fresh spinach, which I sauteed for a few minutes until soft. This left me with a couple of major steps still to go….

At this time the dough was ready to be rolled. I never used a pasta maker before, so it took a little getting used to it. But eventually, I was rolling the pasta smoothly. This is again a bit of a laborious process, because the dough had to be separated into 4 pieces and rolled about 5-8 times for each piece. I went with a thickness which I thought would be good for the lasagne and I might experiment with rolling it a bit thinner or thicker in the future, but overall it was all even and smooth. As you see as well, the layers of dough are only at the bottom and then at the top once everything was in. This makes you taste filling and not just dough.

Last step before putting it all together was making a white sauce. This is just flour, milk, butter and cheese. Nothing fancy here, but I only had enough ingredients to make one sauce, so I couldn’t mess it up like I have in the past. Luckily, I know now to go very slow and did it in one go.

Finally it came time to put this thing together. As you can see, I am using a massive 4 quart oval dish. This was just the right size for this project. I started off by spreading a layer of the veg sauce, then added little “bombs” of spinach, squash and ricotta cheese. I added some white sauce and parmesan cheese to complete one layer. I repeated this 2 more times and then folded over the dough. I finished it off by pouring over the rest of the sauce and some more parm cheese. After about 4 hours of work I was ready to bake! I popped it in the oven for  about 50 minutes at 375 degrees.

The final product was absolutely amazing. It’s not like any lasagne I’ve ever tasted. There were so many different flavours and you could taste each one. The dough was very nice and soft and not overpowering. Everything about it just felt special because I knew how much work went into making it.

I invited over my family and everyone had a nice sized piece. In all, I would say it gave us about 12 good sized pieces. This is one of those great recipes you can do if you need to feed a lot of people and have a bit of time. This is definitely something that can be done quickly, but the results are worth the trouble. If you’re worried about the cost, it was probably about $25 dollars worth of food. That comes to about $2 a piece, which is well worth it for me. I hope you enjoyed seeing the process as much as I did. I will definitely make this again!


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