October 19, 2010

Sometimes the best way to save money at the grocery store is to avoid going in the first place.  Last week I got back from the grocery store only to realize that I'd forgotten to buy lasagna noodles.   I only live 20 minutes away, but still a discovery like that is irritating. It's not only the drive and the gas.  It's the time I'd spend in the store and at the checkout, plus the extra things I'd almost certainly be buying "as long as I'm here."

I could have made a lasagna-ish dish using egg noodles instead.  And I did consider it.   But instead-- much to my 5-year-old's delight -- I pulled out my pasta machine and made lasagna noodles for myself. I have an Imperia pasta machine

that I absolutely love. I made mine partly with whole wheat flour but if you prefer, you could use only white flour.  If you do not have a pasta machine, it is perfectly possible to make these noodles with a rolling pin.   It will just take a bit more time.

Homemade Lasagna Noodles

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine dry ingredients in the bowl of a KitchenAid.  (Or mix by hand).  Add eggs one by one.  Then add milk, and finally oil, kneading with the mixer or by hand until dough comes together in a nice ball. If dough is still sticky, add a bit more flour, until it is easy to handle.

Once the dough is a good consistency, set the rollers of the pasta machine as far apart as possible. Then take a chunk of dough about the size of two golf balls and roll it through the pasta machine. The first pass through the machine is never pretty.  The dough breaks and

looks terrible, but don't worry.  Just fold the fragile dough back on itself and send it through again.

Another time or two on the largest setting of the machine, and the dough will start to adhere together.  At that point, you can gradually crank the rollers of the machine closer together, one notch per pass-through, until the dough is thin and delicate looking.   To the left, above, is the dough while it is still fairly thick.  On the right you can see the dough after it has been rolled fairly thin.

To let the pasta dry, lay it on a floured counter for a few hours before putting them away.  Or if you are going to use the noodles soon, like I did, just layer the pasta with wax paper to keep it from sticking, and then cut it to length and layer it in pans, still fresh.

If you are going to use your noodles fresh

without cooking  them first, be sure to spray your casserole pan with cooking spray so that the noodles won't stick to the pan. I could have made my noodles prettier by trimming the edges, but I didn't feel like fussing, and used them the way they came out of the pasta machine. Yummy!

 

 

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