Category Archives: Pasta dishes

Best Ever Lasagna

This is the best recipe for lasagna because of a unique ingredient not found in most lasagnas, fennel seed.

Makes 6-8 servings

1 pound of Italian pork sausage (optional – this recipe is just

as good vegetarian.)

12 pieces lasagna noodles

1/2 cup chopped green onions

2 cloves garlic

1 1/2 tsp fresh basil

1/2 tsp fennel seed

1/4 tsp pepper

12-14 ounces tomato paste

3-4 fresh tomatoes, diced

1 egg

20 ounces cottage cheese, or crumbled goat cheese has 1/3

the calories of cow’s cheese.

1 Tbsp parsley

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup black olives, sliced

Optional: you can add more cheese to this if you like, but this lasagna does not need it. If you want more, add 1 lb grated mozzarella and 3/4 cup Parmesan grated.

Cook lasagna noodles until soft. Drain. Fry sausage until cooked through. Drain off any excess grease. Add onion and garlic, cook 5 minutes. Add next 5 ingredients and simmer 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the farmer’s or cottage cheese with the egg, parsley and salt. In a 13×9 baking dish, put a layer of noodles across the bottom, then a layer of sauce and cottage cheese. Add a layer of olives, extra cheese if using. Add another layer of noodles etc. and repeat for 3 layers.

Cover with foil and bake at 375º for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Excellent served with homemade garlic bread.

Garlic Bread: Using slices of homemade white bread, butter each slice or use olive oil. Sprinkle with minced garlic from

a garlic press and bake at 325º until golden. About 10 minutes.

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Make Your Own Pasta

Egg noodles and Thai Udon Noodles are the staples of any diet and taste so much better homemade. If you have a pasta maker, making your own noodles is much easier. Two recipes below.

Homemade Egg Noodles: Makes about 2 pounds

2 1/2 cups white flour
4 eggs
1 tsp salt

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl. Once mixed with a spoon initially, you will have to mix the dough thoroughly with your hands.
Once mixed well and it forms a stiff but not dry ball, place it back in the bowl and cover with a plate. Let dough sit for about 15 minutes.
Using a pasta maker or rolling pin, roll dough out to desired thickness of noodles. Keep in mind they will get a little thicker when they
cook. Place dough on wire racks and let dry for about 30 minutes to an hour depending on your climate. You want the dough to be dry on the surface, not sticky, but not dry all the way through.
Fill a very large stock pot with water using about 3 times more water than you think noodles will occupy. It’s best to cook
noodles in too much water than not enough or they will be mushy or stick together.
Then using a knife or the pasta maker, cut noodles into strips. Wait until the water in the pot is at a good rolling boil, add
noodles a handful at a time and reduce heat just so they simmer. Watch the pot as the noodles will easily boil over.
Simmer for 7-8 minutes depending on how thick you made your noodles. Drain and rinse in cold water to prevent them
from sticking together.

 

Thai udon-noodlesMake Your Own Thai Udon Noodles: Makes 1 1/2 pounds.

Asian rice noodles take considerably more time and effort, but this noodle recipe is just as good and a lot less time-intensive.

5 1/2 cups white flour or 50% white, 50% rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca starch

2 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups water

Mix flour and tapioca starch in a mixing bowl. Add the salt to the water, and gradually mix it into the flour mixture until the dough is wet enough to form a ball but not sticky. You may not need all of the saltwater mix. It’s important to get the consistency of the dough correct.

Knead the dough for 2 minutes. If it is too stiff to knead by hand, Asian cooks have been known to put the dough in a  plastic bag, place it on the floor and knead it with their bare feet. This way the weight of your body does all the work. Of course, this is a matter of personal preference, but we thought we would mention it.

Once the dough has been kneaded, place it in a bowl and cover it with a plate. Keep it in a warm place for 3-6 hours to allow the dough to rest and make it easier to roll out.

Fill a very large pot with water. You want to have at least 3 times more water than noodles because if you boil your noodles in too little water, they will be mushy. If you don’t have a pot large enough, cook the noodles in batches.

Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. If you have a pasta maker, this step is much easier. Roll out each piece of dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Use a knife or your pasta maker to cut the dough into noodle-sized strips.

Wait until the water in your large pot is boiling well. Add noodles a handful at a time. Push them down in the water periodically with a spoon if necessary and boil for 6-7 minutes. Remove from water and rinse in cold water immediately before they stick together.

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