Homemade Fresh Pasta, Homemade Fresh Cheese Sauce and Homemade Filling.

I LOVE Lasagne. But I have always been partial to my lasagne and to my mums. I have never really cared for restaurant lasagnes I find them far to meaty , not enough cheese sauce and too runny ! But that was when I ate red meat ! Now that I don’t eat red meat I don’t like traditional lasagne at all not even if I make it ! The family gets a bit annoyed because I rarely make it now..

For some years I have been making a Turkey Mince Lasagne – its a very healthy low cal option ! with Ricotta and Natural Yoghurt as the cheese sauce component. Its nice enough but it doesn’t have the same authentic feeling.

If you have been following my blog for a while you will have seen that I started making Pasta Dough to make Fresh Pasta earlier last year with Ravioli stuffed with Spinach and Ricotta – Oh so yum and oh so authentic if I do say so !
So I decided to make some Cannelloni using Freshly made Pasta Dough except I ended up making Lasagne ! Does that ever happen to you ?
I’ve always made Cannelloni and Lasagne using either fake cardboard boxed pasta tubes and sheets OR the “fresh” Cannelloni and Lasagne from the fridge section… Thats not going to happen again 😉

So I ended up making Lasagne with Chicken , Mushroom and Spinach Lasagne – here is the recipe 🙂

There are three components to this recipe – The Pasta Dough, The Filling and the Cheese Sauce.

Pasta Dough

400g of 00 Flour
4 eggs
25g Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Light Olive Oil

Process on Knead function for 2 – 2.5 minutes

Turn out onto your floured pastry mat or a floured board and it should resemble something along the lines of the 1st photo. Knead with your hands into a shaped ball. Wrap in plastic and pop in fridge to relax the dough whilst you prep the other ingredients.

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Filling Component

1000g Vine Ripened Tomatoes – the riper and redder the better – Halved and remove the very end of the stalky parts
1 brown onion cut in half
2 Garlic Cloves
Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves
40 g Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Light) Or use Light Olive Oil

Put everything in the Thermomix bowl in the above order and Blitz on Speed 5 for around 1 minute, check scrape down and blitz again until desired consistency around another 30secs

Scrap down and cook for 30 minutes Varoma temp on speed 1 with the Basket in place of the Measuring Cup.

Set aside. Give bowl a slight rinse with cold water and wipe out with paper towel but don’t worry too much

Next place around 300-400 gram diced (large chunks) chicken breast into bowl and mince for around a couple of seconds on speed 5/6 just until it resembles mince. Add around 10g of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and cook the chicken for around 2-3minutes speed 1 at 100degrees.  Add in 4 chopped mushrooms and mix through with the spatula then add in a packet of thawed, drained package spinach ( or make your own) Mix gently through and add this mixture to the tomatoes. Allow to cool down. In the meantime you can prep the pasta and make the Cheese Sauce !

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Now to the pasta -Bring your pasta out of the fridge and divide into around 8 sections. I highly recommend owning a pasta maker when making your own pasta. I’m not going to give a recommendation at the moment because the one I have is not overly great! But it does the job to a certain degree.

On a floured surface roll out your first section of pasta enough to be able to get through the largest setting on your pasta maker. Then pass through your pasta maker. Turn the knob to reduce the size down and continue passing through
I then usually hand roll out into a larger shape. As I said my Pasta maker isn’t that great . But you want to be able to end up with sheets of pasta.

To keep your pasta sheets from sticking sprinkle some semolina in between each sheet as you pile them up

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Now at this stage the Filling was done and the Pasta was done. So all that was needed is the Cheese Sauce. Simple. The Bechamel sauce recipe in the EDC with cheese added was what I went with.

At this stage I would cook the Pasta. Its not imperative to pre cook your pasta sheets and I didn’t do so. Next time I will pre cook and decide which I like best !. To cook your pasta simply cut into your lasagne squares – they don’t need to perfect as they will be hidden by all that yummy filling and sauce ! Simply pop into a boiling pot of water that has about a tblsp of oil and allow the pasta to rise to the surface around 1-2minutes. Lay onto a lightly oiled baking paper sheet Just make sure in between each sheet has a slightly oily feel and they won’t stick together.

Cheese Sauce

Grate 100 g of Cheddar Cheese in your thermomix and set aside wash and dry Thermomix OR go to the next step and hand grate the cheese

500 g of full cream milk
50 g flour
50g Softened butter
Pinch of salt

Place into the Thermomix and cook for 7minutes 90degrees on speed 4

Add in the Cheese and cook 1 minute 90degrees on speed 4

Now its time to assemble it all !

Into the bottom of your Lasagne Dish place a layer of the filling across the bottom and then layer some of the pasta over the top. Add a thin layer of the Cheese sauce -( remember you want to keep your main layer of cheese for the top.)
then add a layer of pasta and then a layer of filling and then a layer of cheese until all is completed.

The very top layer is of the cheese sauce and a sprinkling of grated cheddar cheese

Cook in your oven for around 40 minutes at 180 degrees.

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Now all you have left to do is cut and serve it up oh and enjoy

I’ll be posting my recipe for Cannelloni soon with Homemade Pasta

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