Fresh Pasta – Food Network Canada

I’ve had a recipe sitting around for about 10 years that I’ve been meaning to try. It’s from Food Network Canada and it’s for fresh pasta. Their recipe is 2 cups of all purpose flour to 3 eggs mixed with cracked pepper and a teaspoon of olive oil in the usual fashion.

Ingredients

Mound the flour and grind on a little black pepper.

Create the well

Crack the eggs and add the olive oil into a well in the center of the flour.

Eggs and olive oil in the well

Mix with a fork until it gets difficult to work with, then use your hands. Knead for 15 minutes.

Kneading dough

Wrap the dough in plastic and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours.

Dough ready to go.

I wanted lasagna, so, to make the sheets, I used my pasta roller to get the sheets to the appropriate thickness, and used a knife to make squares as big as my pan.

Rolling out pasta

I wanted lasagna Bolognese, which consists of layers of pasta, meat sauce, and Beschamel.

This recipe is very similar to mine for Bolognese.

Ingredients for Bolognese

Meat cooking for Bolognese

Add the tomato and milk and simmer for 2 hours

For the Bechamel, I make a roux by heating equal volumes of flour and butter (for this, 2 TBSP each) and cooking until it turns light brown.

Roux

Then I whisk in 2 cups of whole milk.

Lasagna assembly line

When I was ready to assemble, I did a layer of pasta, some meat sauce, some Bechamel, and a light grating of parmesan.

Layering pasta

The last layer was just Bechamel and a little grated parmesan.

Lasagna ready for the bake

(Notice I didn’t boil the fresh pasta sheets.)

After baking for 40 minutes, it was beautiful.

Beautiful lasagna bolognese

I wanted to try Food Network’s Entwine, so I picked up the Cabernet Sauvignon, which I thought would work well with the meaty lasagna.

Entwine

The wine was pretty awful, but the lasagna was divine.

Lasagna Bolognese

What I read was that you can assemble the lasagna with blanched pasta sheets or with raw sheets, and that each produces different techniques. Since it’s baking well above the boiling point of water, the pasta will cook during the 40 minute bake. The final texture will differ depending on whether the pasta was cooked ahead. By starting with raw pasta in the lasagna, the starch binds within the layers and ties everything together.

In my lasagna, the pasta also had a great chewy texture, and I though melded nicely with the sauces. It was a very tender dish, and was easily eaten with a fork. It took me back to a trip to Orvieto, Italy where I had a small piece of lasagna with a glass of red wine, only the lasagna there had less meat sauce and more Beschamel, and their Beschamel wasn’t as dark as mine. But all of the flavors were there.

As for the pasta, this was a pretty decent recipe. I even made some tagliatelle with the remaining sheets. I’d argue that the noodles were a little chewier than my first shot, but I used a different type of flour this time. The AP flour was a hell of a lot easier to knead than the 00 flour, though.

Maybe the perfect pasta dough uses a mixture of the two flours…


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One thought on “Fresh Pasta – Food Network Canada

  • Mike

    I love that the uncooked pasta, when baked, provided the starch to thicken up the sauce and make it set up and stay together. That looks fabulous! Is that wine from the food network store? Try Two Vines Merlot by Columbia Crest…it’s reasonable and a winner…great blog, Jerry!



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