Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rosie Makes Lasagna Roll Ups.

Sunday is kind of a do-nothing day in the Hawthorne Household. We don't want to go anywhere. We don't particularly want to do anything. It's a day of rest and relaxation. After a luxurious breakfast of Eggs Benedict, our thoughts turned toward ... ... what else ... our next meal. And a show of hands, please, of those who actually made Eggs Hawthorne for breakfast this morning. Today, I'm orienting towards homemade pasta. It's a fun and relaxing process and homemade pasta is nothing like store-bought. Trust me on this. I can make lasagna easily enough, but I didn't want a conventional lasagna. I wanted lasagna with a twist. I'm making Lasagna Roll Ups.
My lasagna with a sprinkling of fresh basil.
I know a lot of food bloggers wrap up their recipes in neat little packages so you can see it all in front of you and know what to do, step by step. But life isn't like that. Life is a process as is cooking, and I show you that process. It's not all separate simple packages. You have to integrate. First, I'm starting on my pasta.
I started out with 8 ounces of flour. And two eggs.
Make a well in the flour and carefully mix in the first egg with your fingers. Use a pastry scraper to build up the wall of flour
while incorporating the egg.
Second egg in.
Kinda shaggy.
So I added in a third egg.
Always listen to your dough. This dough is screaming for some oil ...
... and water. Work the dough some more.
It's coming together now. Add in some more ELBOO. That's Extra Light Bertolli Olive Oil.
Form into a ball, cover, and let rest a few minutes while you prepare the tomato sauce. You see? Cooking is not separate packages of recipes. This is as far as I could go with the pasta dough. It needs to rest. I must pursue another avenue. And that avenue would be the sauce. It's all in the integration and timing. You have to plan and anticipate.
I have some lovely afternoon light shining on my onion, peppers, and garlic. And that little red pepper which looks like a jalapeno is a sweet, not hot, pepper. They come in an assortment of different colors - green, yellow, orange, and red. And they're miniature peppers. - a perfect size for us. I'm trying to germinate seeds now.
I went out and picked parsley.
Minced the garlic and chopped the parsley.
Now here's an example of how a "recipe in the box" doesn't tell you what to do. Right now, I'm making a tomato sauce for my lasagna rolls. I want garlic toast to go with this meal. So I added extra butter and parsley and garlic in the pan for the sauce.
And I sopped up the goodness with my sliced bread for the garlic toasts.
Thusly.
Each toast is different. Some have more parsley. Some more butter. Some more garlic. These went into my toaster oven at 200 degrees until comfy-toasty. Your call. After the garlic toast is taken care of ...
... I'm back with the sauce for the lasagna. Add the chopped peppers and onions to the butter/garlic/parsley mix.
Saute about a minute.
Then add in some diced tomatoes.
I liked both pictures of the tomatoes going into the pan. I especially liked the yin/yang of the red and green. I think I'll have to look into feng shui food. Back to the sauce! Lower heat and barely simmer. Change gears. Get outside your recipe box. Think quick! What do you do next while the tomato sauce is simmering?
Why, you divide your pasta dough into fourths and ball 'em. Plug a thumb print. Fill with ELBOO. Manipulate the dough some more. Then flatten to ready for the pasta maker.
This is the first pass through my pasta maker. Setting #1 I have 7 settings. I never get past #5. I know my limits. But I'm always pushing my limits. I start at #1 and pass my pasta through several times, alternating the ends. Then I narrow it to #2 and pass the pasta through, back and forth. I get to #3. Alternate several times. You may need to dust with flour. Feel free. Work with the pasta. I dared to go to #4 setting. Smooth sailing. I achieved setting #5. After 3 or 4 passes at this setting, I had a nice pasta. I stopped short of setting #6. No can do ... ... yet.
I'm cranking pasta out! Drink some wine and flour your granite. Oh, WAIT!
Time to go back to your sauce. Add a small can of tomato sauce to your tomato sauce. In another universe ...
... start the hamburger meat. Mr. Hawthorne wants beef in his sauce. Season with freshly ground salt and pepper, onion powder, granulated garlic, and oregano.
The tomato sauce has simmered nicely.
With a paper towel and tongs, wipe up the grease from the hamburger meat.
Looking good stove top.
Looking good counter top. The short pasta sheet has only gone through setting #1. The other three sheets made it to setting #5.
Add the hamburger meat to the tomato sauce. Keep warm.
Now, I'm starting on my filling for my lasagna roll ups. I have ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, and Il Villagio Parmesan which I particularly like. I get it at Harris Teeter. Here's a suggestion for you: Buy several different types of Parmesan cheeses. Taste test. Pick your favorite. Then buy several more types to compare to your favorite. Parmesan cheeses vary dramatically, so please compare and contrast. This is totally on the fly so that's why I don't have neat little recipe boxes of "do this," "now do this," "do that." Cooking is not all separate individual steps like that. A cook must multitask (I hate that word.), integrate, and anticipate. It's a process. And I show you how I coordinate the process.
Grate some mozzerella and Parmesan.
I added 2 big plops of ricotta cheese and 1 big plop of cottage cheese.
I minced a little garlic and some basil.
Garlic and basil into the bowl. Mix thoroughly.
Taste test.
If you think you need some more garlic, by all means add some. If you want more cheeses, do that. Or more basil. If you wanted minced onion, then add some. Fresh parsley would be nice touch. Make the filling yours.
I'm adding spinach to mine.
Chop spinach and add to cheese mixture.
I ELBOO'd my baking pan. Just a thin coating.
I put a thin layer of the tomato/meat sauce on the bottom.
With homemade lasagna, you don't even need to boil it before stuffing.
I placed a bit of the filling on my lasagna.
Rolled up about 2 - 3 turns and sliced off.
Place in pan.
Continue stuffing and rolling.
Add a layer of sauce over the first of the roll ups. Mr. Hawthorne thought this looked like fun and wanted to get in on the action.
He's going for a meat/tomato sauce filling here.
I topped my dish with more lasagna strips and a drizzling of olive oil.
Mozzarella cheese.
Little plops of goat cheese.
Mince some more basil ...
... and sprinkle over top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes, until it's heated through and the cheeses are nicely browned.
Let sit for about 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Sprinkle with additional basil.
Lasagna roll ups and garlic toast.
I love natural light.
I don't have to tell you this is delicious. But I will tell you it's more deliciouser the next day. There's nothing like homemade pasta. Nothing.

4 comments:

Marilyn said...

That does indeed look delicious, Rosie.

I love making my own tomato sauce. The jarred sauces just can't touch the stuff. Guess I'll have to take the plunge and try my hand at making pasta even though I don't have a pasta machine.

Marion said...

Rosie, what does it sound like when your pasta dough screams? Mine just sort of schlumps......

Rosie Hawthorne said...

All right, Marion.

You damn well know what screaming dough sounds like.

Sage Trifle said...

I can't stand that word either--Multitasking. But your lasanga looks out of this world! Do you ever submit any of your photos to TasteSpotting or Photograzing?