Homemade Lasagna with Meat Sauce


Here is a delicious recipe when you want to serve your family something special.

1 cup semolina
1 cup 00 flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground sausage
1 pound ground hamburger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onion
2 - 28 oz crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

16 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
30 oz. whole ricotta
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup grated Parmesan

To make the pasta, in a large stainless steel bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Create a well in the center and add the eggs and olive oil. Gradually mix the egg mixture into the flour using a fork or your fingers, eventually bringing the ingredients together to form a firm dough. You may need to add a few drops of water if the dough feels too dry. Transfer the dough to a flat surface and knead the dough until it's smooth, 5-6 minutes. Try to refrain from adding extra flour when kneading as this will give your pasta a floury taste. Dribble a little olive oil over the dough and place in a plastic bag. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. 

While the dough rests, prepare the sauce. In a large Dutch oven, brown the sausage and hamburger. Add the garlic and onions and cook until they are tender, about 1-2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes. Season with dried basil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Simmer until thickened about 35-45 minutes.

To make filling, in a medium bowl, combine ricotta, grated Parmesan, eggs, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. Mix well. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the lasagna.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While the sauce cooks, continue with the pasta. Prepare three baking sheets by dusting them with flour. Divide the pasta into thirds, returning the extra dough to the bag until ready to use. Flatten one piece of dough with a rolling pin to match the size of your pasta roller. Feed the dough through the machine, using the first setting of your machine. Pass the pasta through once, and then fold it into thirds and pass it through again. After that, continue feeding the pasta sheet through the machine at each level (3, 4, 5...) until you reach the desired thickness. For lasagna, I go to 6. Cut this strip of pasta in half, which should measure about 10-11 inches after it has been cut.

Layer each of the thin sheets of pasta on the floured baking sheets, without touching. Repeat with the remaining dough for a total of six sheets of pasta. At this point, cut each of these sheets in half to form narrow strips, for a total of 12. 

Prepare three baking sheets, lined with damp kitchen towels. Bring a large pot of water to boil adding 2 teaspoons salt. Set up a large roasting pan filled with ice water next to the boiling pasta water. Cook the strips of pasta, a few at a time for just a little bit, 1-2 minutes once they return to a boil. Remove from boiling water and slip them into the ice water to cool. Then line them on the damp kitchen towels. Repeat until all of the pasta strips have been cooked. 

Prepare a 12x16 inch lasagna pan by spreading olive oil along the bottom and sides. To assemble the lasagna, spread 1 cup sauce over the bottom of the pan. Place three strips over the sauce, overlapping if necessary. Spread another cup of sauce over the pasta and layer with another three strips. At this point, spread 1 cup sauce, half of the filling, and half of the sliced mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of pasta, 1 cup sauce, the remaining filling, and the remaining slices of mozzarella. Top with final three strips of pasta. Pour remaining sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with 1 cup grated Parmesan. Tent the lasagna with foil, making sure it doesn't touch the top and bake until bubbly, about 25 minutes. Uncover and bake another 20 minutes until the top is golden and crusty. Allow to rest for 10-12 minutes before cutting into squares to serve. Serves 8-10. Pair with a nice Chianti or Beaujolais wine.
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