Monday, January 27, 2014

Lasagna with Homemade Noodles

My Dearest Sally,

Either my eyes deceive me or it has been months since my last post. Where does the time go? I couldn't believe the last post date when I saw it at the top of the page.

I hope that you are doing well. I image that Alice is growing like a weed. It seems that everywhere I go now people are talking about babies or having babies. The more I am around them the more I desperately want to start a family of my own. But not yet.

I am writing this letter to you from the comfort of my kitchen table at 4:00 on a Monday. When I arrived at school this morning one of the other women I work with told me that they had cancelled the busses last minute and that the school was closed. Imagine my excitement when I realized I could catch up on work and then spend an afternoon at home! I have made three dishes so far today, one which will hopefully be up as a post soon.

The recipe that I will share with you today is one that came almost completely from memory. Jesse sometimes mentions a meal that he loves on the off chance that I will  make it for him. He was lucky when we had a lot of ground beef that we needed to use up and I was out of other ideas. I remembered that my parents had lent us their pasta maker before we were married and it has been sitting in our cupboard ever since. I rolled up my sleeves and set to work making homemade pasta for a meaty lasagna. The process of making the noodles was a little complicated with one person but was still a lot of fun. It can be surprisingly easy with the right tools, enough time, and a good television show to keep you going.

Homemade Pasta Dough
Canadian Living


2 cups four
3 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Mix the flour and salt together and form into a mound with the flower in the bottom of a wide-bottomed dish. (I used a deep pie pan to keep the flour from going everywhere.)

2. Beat your eggs together and pour into the middle of the flour mound. Use a fork to combine the eggs and the flour until it forms a dough. Knead dough for 2-4 minutes by hand or with a dough hook. (I found that the dough hook was not as effective as I would have liked.)

3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes.

4. When the dough is ready, divide it into small manageable sections and run through the pasta maker. I started on the largest setting and ran my section of dough through. After each time I made the opening smaller until the pasta sheets were the thickness I wanted.

5. Let the dough hang until you are ready to use it.

Meaty Lasagna: A Koning Family Recipe


1 1/2 cans tomato sauce (your choice)
500g lean ground beef
1 onion
1-2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 container cottage cheese
2 eggs
2-3 cups shredded cheese (marble or cheddar)
Homemade lasagna noodles

1. I started by cooking my onions and garlic. I chopped the onion into small pieces and sauteed for about 3 minutes. I added the garlic and cooked for another minute before I added the ground beef.

2. Cook the beef until it is no longer pink. Add the tomato sauce and keep warm on the stove. At this point you could add all sorts of vegetables and spices to the mixture. I used a flavourful tomato sauce and skipped the veggies as I didn't have anything else to add.

3. Mix the container of cottage cheese with Italian seasoning and the 2 eggs. Set aside in a separate bowl.

4. Begin layering the lasagna with the meat mixture. Add some of the cottage cheese mixture on top and then place a layer of noodles over that. Repeat this layering process until you only have a layer of meat sauce left on top. Sprinkle the top layer with cheese and cover with tinfoil.

5. Bake in a 350-375 oven for about 45 minutes. If the noodles are a bit chewy leave it in for longer. Once the lasagna is cooked through broil the top for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.

I realize the lasagne doesn't look epic in the pictures but I can tell you that Jesse was very pleased with it. He even shared some with his father who was also impressed with the flavour. It makes a lot if only one person is eating it so ours has lasted a while but it would also be perfect for company.

If you guys are ever in the area let us know. It would be great to see you again soon.

Lots of Love,