I was really craving lasagna on Friday, so I decided to throw one together. Since it was an impromptu decision, I didn't have lasagna noodles on hand. I had all the other ingredients for a white lasagna, so I made my own pasta. It was a bit of work, though it was fun making fresh pasta!
YUM, just look at those layers of ooey gooey mozzarella cheese, spinach, and flavorful Italian sausage between sheets of freshly-made pasta. I had two pieces for dinner, and then leftovers for Saturday's dinner.
If you don't have the time or equipment to make your own pasta, store-bought noodles will work equally as well. Just follow the instructions on the package.
Sausage and Spinach White Lasagna with Homemade Pasta
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
In a mixing bowl, stir the flour and salt together. Add the eggs, and mix until you have a uniform dough. Knead for a few minutes until elastic. OR, place all three ingredients in a food processor and process until you get a smooth and elastic dough. Cover and let rest while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
After the dough is rested, to make the noodles by hand, roll out the dough on a floured surface into a rectangle. As I was rolling it out, I ended up cutting it into four pieces to make the noodles a manageable size. Roll each piece as thinly as possible, or until your arms give up.
If you have a pasta maker (lucky you!), cut the dough into 8 pieces. Feed each piece through the machine to make thin strips. Cut to fit your baking pan.
For the filling:
1 lb Italian sausage
6 cups fresh spinach or 1 block frozen spinach
1 small onion, diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
3 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup finely shredded parmigiano reggiano
In a saute pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and add the sausage. Break up the sausage into small bits and cook until browned. Set aside in a small bowl. Add the remaining Tbsp of olive oil, diced onion and garlic, and saute until onion is translucent. Add the spinach and saute until it is wilted down. Do this in batches if your pan can't hold all the spinach. Set aside in another bowl.
3 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups milk, heated
In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and mix until a smooth paste forms (the roux). On medium low heat, stir the roux until it darkens a shade, about a minute or two. Slowly pour in the wine while stirring, trying to break up the clumps. Keep stirring and slowly add the milk. Heat until the mixture starts to boil and thickens. Season with salt, pepper, and a dash of nutmeg.
To assemble the lasagna:
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a lasagna pan (I used a 13x9 Pyrex), spread about 2/3 cup of bechamel sauce on the bottom of the pan, covering it from corner to corner. Lay sheets of lasagna noodles over the sauce. Sprinkle 1/3 of the sausage, spinach, and cheese over the pasta layer. Cover with another layer of pasta, followed by another 2/3 cup of sauce. Repeat until all the filling ingredients and pasta sheets are used up. The top layer should be covered in the remaining sauce and cheese.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbly.