She who dares bakes...lasagne

This month's challenge was to make lasagne using homemade spinach pasta. Yikes. This was my first foray into pasta making having always relied on the dried variety. In fact, one of the first things I unpacked at university was my 10kg sack of dried pasta which I didn't finish in the three years I studied there, much to the merriment of the porters. That said, Mr AB was recently given a pasta maker so this was the perfect opportunity to give it a whirl.

The recipe called for us to mix our flour and eggs straight on the worktop. I'm sorry to say that after the Danish Braid debacle I played it safe and prepared the dough in a bowl. Uninspiring at first, the mixture soon took on an emerald hue. So vivid and, as promised by the recipe, alive to the touch.

Unfortunately any such vitality vanished once the dough went through the pasta machine. Less pasta, more saggy, green stockings:

What do you mean it doesn't look like the lasagne sheets you get in a packet?

The brilliant thing about lasagne of course is that the layers hide a multitude of sins. The pasta "sheets" (more crazy paving) that I made might not have been pretty but once covered in bechamel sauce and ragu no one could know that they once resembled an unmade jigsaw.

For the meat and bechamel sauces I used two faithful recipes from an excellent cookbook come family history called Dear Francesca. Both recipes are beautifully simple and full of flavour. Layered with the green pasta and a combination of fresh mozzarella and parmesan they produced a particularly light and flavourful lasagne.

Making homemade pasta for a baked dish such as this did seem like a bit of a faff but the results proved worthy of the hassle and green dough still stuck under my fingernails. Homemade pasta seems so much lighter than its doughy shop-bought counterparts and is definitely worth a try. I think the spinach pasta would make a brilliant basis for a summer vegetable lasagne so I will definitely return to this recipe once more.

Please take a look at the work of the other daring bakers here and also check out the fantabulous new daring bakers website here.

The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.


Magnolia Wedding Planner said...

I can't tell you (and of course my opinon counts double being italian :-D) that these lasagne are amazing!

ok...good job dear!

how are you darling? have you found a new job?

Sam said...

I have got to get a pasta machine, I'd love to make my own lasagna sheets. I love the bright green colour!

glamah16 said...

I missed coming around here for this challenge.This is a recipe worth repeating and worth the efforts.