I’m a big fan of homemade pasta, especially my own recipe using Einkorn flour, and have found quite a few ways to include fresh pasta in my diet on a somewhat regular basis, without going overboard. But up until now I had never tried to make my own lasagna using fresh Einkorn flour pasta.
As it turns out, there are a gazillion articles on the internet about how to make lasagna, I’m sure to no one’s surprise. But there are a lot fewer articles about how to make lasagna using fresh homemade noodles made with Einkorn all purpose flour, which is what I was looking for.
So I’ve decided to combine my current pasta recipe with a few existing from-scratch lasagna recipes to end up with my very own approach.
Lasagna is basically a combo of three different elements, the pasta noodles, the tomato sauce and the cheese or bechamel, whichever you choose.
For my noodles, as I’ve already mentioned, I’m using my Einkorn flour pasta noodle recipe, and cutting them into lasagna noodles. For the tomato sauce, I’m skipping the jarred version and making my own meat and tomato sauce using ground beef, ground pork and canned tomatoes. And for the cheese or white sauce, I have opted for the more difficult, but I believe better, bechamel sauce instead of simply dropping gobs of cheese in between the pasta layers.
And my favorite decision is that I have opted to skip pre-boiling the noodles and simply going straight into the pan with them.
Many online “experts” say that it is mandatory, or close to it, that all noodles and even fresh noodles should be pre-boiled for one minute before assembling your lasagna. If you don’t, you run the risk of the noodles absorbing some of the sauce liquid and your lasagna ending up too dry.
To which I say… make your sauce a little runnier! Or make your bechamel a little looser!
Having tried both versions, boiling the noodles ahead of time and skipping that step, I can assure you one is much more convenient than the other and the end results are inseparable, so I don’t really understand the fuss.
This lasagna is pretty wonderful straight from the oven, with an appropriate cooling off period, but it also makes great leftovers, keeps super well in the fridge and easy to heat back up without breaking or falling apart.
Homemade Lasagana With Fresh Einkorn Pasta
Lasagna Meat Sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil to coat bottom of large pot
- 1 lb ground beef 90/10 or 85/15
- 1 lb ground pork italian sausage works well
- 1 onion diced
- 4 carrots diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 4-6 sprigs thyme
- 4 cloves garlic pressed or fine chop
- 1 cup chicken stock, water or half of each homemade is always preferred
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup water on hand, if sauce gets too thick
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 whole eggs
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups Einkorn flour all purpose
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- salt and pepper to taste
Make Your Meat Sauce First – Even A Day Early
- In a large skillet or medium Dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium high, add pork and beef and brown on all sides, about 15-20 minutes
- Add the onion and saute until soft, add the remaining vegetables and saute just to soften and release moisture
- Add chicken stock, add the thyme sprigs, garlic, bay leaves, tomato paste and tomato, salt and pepper and bring to light boil
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 55 to 60 minutes or until sauce is thickened, adding small amounts of water in if sauce thickens too much
Then Your Pasta
- Place all ingredients into stand mixer with dough hook
- Turn on to medium low speed and combine ingredients until pasta becomes smooth and shiny
- Roll dough onto floured counter and divide into halves or thirds
- Using your pasta roller, either a stand mixer attachment or hand crank, open rollers to widest setting, roll pasta out on counter with hand or rolling pin and then run through the pasta roller
- Fold rolled piece into thirds or halves and roll back through the roller
- Repeat this step a few times to really make the pasta smooth, lightly adding flour as needed to keep from sticking, and repeat with all pasta dough
- Continue reducing roller settings and passing noodles through until pasta is at desired thickness, for me that means going from the "0" setting to the "4" or "5" setting
- Cut pasta noodles into appropriately sized lasagna noodles to fit your baking dish and set aside until ready to assemble
And Then The Bechamel
- In a medium saucepan on medium to medium-low heat, melt butter then add the flour and stir with wooden spoon until a paste forms, you don't want to burn this
- Cook out flour for a couple of minutes to remove flour taste, then remove from heat and add the cold milk a little at a time while stirring well between each addition
- Return to heat once all the milk is added and mixture is smooth, continue stirring over medium low heat until sauce slowly comes to a boil and thickens to your desired consistency, don't leave it unattended as it may very well boil up and over the sides of your pot
- Add a pinch of nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste, add Parmesan cheese and stir.
Pre-Heat Oven And Assemble Lasagna
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Layer lasagna in cooking dish starting with a thin layer of meat sauce so noodles don't stick to the bottom, then one layer of pasta, more meat sauce, thin layer of bechamel and some shredded cheese, and repeat for as many layers as you can, limited either by lack of noodles or size of serving dish
- Finish with a layer of pasta and plenty of bechamel sauce, add extra cheese on the top layer to finish, place lasagna in middle of oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until golden
- Let lasagna sit for 10 minutes after removing from oven to give it time to set up
And now for the nutritional panel! Yeah, it’s a lot, but really, it is just a complete meal, you have everything you need in here. I assumed you used all of your pasta and cut the entire recipe into eight quite large portions. I had no trouble eating mine, and probably could have eaten more, but I certainly wasn’t hungry any more after one portion.
And my favorite aspect of this nutritional panel? The protein levels! More protein per serving than either carbs or fat, so it’s probably something I should eat after working out at the gym, right?