Do you know that you can make a fresh pasta dough with KitchenAid in 5 mins flat? I kid you not. Flour, eggs and if needed, a little water (if dough is too dry) or more flour (too wet), that’s it. The machine does all the kneading. How come I only know about it, like, now??? I was so ready to get my hands dirty, but hey, had I known it’s this simple, I would have made one sooner! Btw, Jamie Oliver does one with food processor, you can watch it here.
Don’t worry about les grumeaux, i.e. the lumps, they will disappear as soon as you pass them through the pasta attachment. But it helps if you use the finer flour possible. I used Type 45, under MasterChef brand. Ha!
LASAGNA A LA NAPOLETANA
(adapted from La Cuillere d’Argent)
300 gr flour Type 45 (or Type 00, if you can)
water or more flour, if needed
5 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 medium carrots, diced
1 medium celery branch, diced
1 large garlic clove, diced
1.2 L passata
5 medium eggs, divided
350 gr minced beef
60 gr grated parmesan
40 gr butter, divided
1-2 mozzarella balls (150 gr each), sliced
generous handful of grated emmental
salt & pepper
- [Making the filling] Heat up 3 tbsp olive oil and brown the onion, carrot, celery and garlic for 5 mins under low-medium heat. Add in the passata. Season with salt & pepper. Half cover and let it cook for 1 hour.
- Take 4 eggs and boil them to get a hard boiled eggs. When done, set aside till cool to touch. Slice the eggs just before you want to assemble the lasagna.
- In a medium bowl, mix the beef, 1 egg and the Parmesan. Mix well and make small balls, weighing about 10 gr each (about half tbsp).
- In a pan, heat up 25 gr of butter and 2 tbsp of oil. Brown the meat balls, turning them from time to time. Drain and set aside.
- [Making the pasta] With a paddle attachment on low speed (#2), add the eggs, one by one, into the flour. After 1-2 mins or when the mixer’s noise start to change, change the paddle to hook attachment. Set it on speed #2 and let it knead for additional 2 mins, until the dough starts to form a ball. Add some water if the dough is too firm to touch, or some flour, if it’s too wet.
- Flour your hands, and gently form the dough into a round ball. Wrap with a plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 1 hour or maximum of 24 hour.
- When it’s ready, cut the dough into two, flatten to 1 cm each and run through the lasagna attachment. I started with no. 1 before finally stopping at no. 4 to get the thickness (or thinness) that I want – and because of this, I have left over pasta dough that I’m turning into fettuccini.
- Hang the pasta dry while you start boil a big pot of salted water.
- Cut the pasta into 10 cm in length. And gently drop several them into the hot water. Let them cook for 5 mins, or till cooked. Repeat for the remaining of the dough.
- [To assemble] Preheat oven to 160 C. Butter the pot/ bakeware you’re going to use, and lay several of the cooked lasagna. Top with meat sauce, eggs and some mozzarella. Repeat.
- For the top layer, break down the remaining meat balls using fork and stir to mix with the sauce. Spread over the top layer, top with couple slices of mozzarella, the remaining of butter (cut into small knobs & spread them around) and sprinkle with generous handful of emmental (and some parmesan, if desired).
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover the foil and put it under broil until the cheese melts and a little burnt. Remove from over and let it rest 10 mins before serving.
I was skeptical at the beginning how the eggs and the meatballs would affect the dining experience (good addition? weird? messy?) but we actually like the eggs, and finally the meatballs don’t really affect a thing. They are small enough that you don’t need to break them apart, yet giving a meaty feeling.