Welcome to the first episode of the Cooking Corner!
Yesterday I made homemade Italian meal from scratch and I thought I should share a little bit about the process! First you make the sauce and get it into a Crockpot. So...
Saute' onions, garlic, and some salt in Olive Oil. Several onions is not too many!While that cooks, you can start browning the Italian Sausage.
When the onions and garlic are ready (watch for the garlic to begin browning), you can either the plain red sauce to the pan or you can put them in the Crockpot and add the plain Hunt's sauce there. I like to get the Crockpot warming before I put anything in it so that the sauce doesn't start cooling off or anything.Make sure to make a mess.When the meat is browned and in small pieces, add it to the red sauce.After rinsing fresh basil leaves (you can buy these at Smiths, although I prefer to grow my own), cut them into fine pieces. The smaller the better! Add them to the sauce. Let the sauce simmer as long as you can...yesterday I let it simmer for about 6 hours.
Now it's time for the pasta noodles!! In a food processor mix 2 eggs per every 1 cup of unbleached white flower.Put the dough onto the clean counter top with flour accessible near by. Knead the dough until it is not at all sticky. Unlike a bread, pizza crust, or biscuit dough, the more kneading the better!
Then rip off small pieces of dough. On the widest setting, roll the dough again and again through a pasta maker. Gradually change the setting to the thinest until the pasta is in thin sheets.Set them out to dry wherever you can find! I use baking sheets and cookie cooling racks.
I don't how one pasta strip got to be so long! haha....While the pasta noodles are drying (the longer the time to dry the better) you can make the Besciamella white sauce. This is a slow process of melting butter, adding flour gradually to create a base, and then adding small portions of milk at a time in order to create a cream. Add a little salt and nutmeg too.
While the pasta is drying, the sauce is cooking, and the Besciamella is warming, you can prepare the cheeses: Cut the Mozzarella into slices, grate the Parmiggiano (Costco is a good place for these), and open the Ricotta.About an hour before you want to eat, it is time to assemble the lasagna!
Place a little sauce in the bottom of a glass pan. Add a layer of noodles. Then fresh Mozzeralla cheese, more sauce, another layer of noodles, more sauce, cut up ham...
Parmesan, more sauce, more noodles, Besciamella sauce, Ricotta, red sauce, noodles, etc...etc...
Then sprinkle the top layer with a lot of Parmesan!! :)
Bake at 350 or so for about 45 minutes or until all the cheeses are melted and things look done.
While you wait, you can also prepare a salad with tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado to be dressed with Olive Oil and Basalmic Vinegar!
When all is melted you can take it out of the oven! The smell is so yummy! Enjoy!
TA DA!! Buon Appetito!
And that's it! Thanks for tunning in to Tam's Cooking Corner! We'll see you next time...
Tip: Remember that most everything that is delicious begins with onion, garlic, and salt sauted in Olive Oil! :)