Very homemade lasagna

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I've been trying to make a few meals a month that are as close to completely homemade/homegrown as possible. This lasagna is one of my most complicated yet. The sauce and veggies are from my garden, the pasta is homemade, and for the first time, I made most of the cheese. Where I didn't go homemade, I did try and buy local. The meats, milk and eggs were from local farms, and even the spelt for the flour was grown a few hundred miles from here. I guess I could have ground the meat myself, but I have to leave a few challenges for next time.

While it was time consuming to make all the different parts, it was also a lot of fun. And there is no arguing with the results, as it was one of the best lasagnas I ever made.

Servings:
12 large slices
Preparation Time:
4 hours
Tools
  • Food processor
  • Pasta machine
  • Skillet
  • Stock pot
  • Spider strainer
  • Large lasagna pan

Ingredients

  • 1 batch spelt pasta rolled into sheets
  • homemade mozzarella from 1 1/2 gallons raw whole milk
  • 1/2 pound extra sharp local cheddar
  • 1/2 pound smoked provolone
  • Fresh grated pecorino romano
  • baby spinach leaves sufficient to make 2 layers

Ricotta mix

  • homemade ricotta with whey from mozzarella
  • 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Sauce mix

  • 4 quarts homemade baked tomato sauce
  • 1 pound ground buffalo
  • big pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 15 crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large head garlic, chopped
Cooking Instructions
The day before cooking the lasagna, I did my prep work.

  1. Brown the Italian sausage in the skillet, and set aside to cool. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. Brown ground buffalo. Sprinkle with sea salt at the start, add pepper, onion, garlic and chipotle powder about half way through. Let cool and refrigerate.
  3. Make pasta dough in food processor and refrigerate.
  4. Make cheese and ricotta. You'll have to go elsewhere for the recipe for now.

On the day of cooking:

  1. Beat the two eggs and nutmeg into the ricotta. Stir in the browned Italian sausage. Set aside
  2. Sweat the onions, mushrooms and garlic in the olive oil. Add the sauce and buffalo meat. Heat thoroughly.
  3. Roll out the pasta to the second thinnest setting, and cut into reasonable sized sheets.
  4. Grate mozzarella, cheddar and provalone cheese and mix together.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. Boil salted water in your stock pot for the pasta. Cook the pasta sheets 2 at a time, for 4 minutes, while assembling the lasagna.
  7. Put a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the lasagna pan, and put a layer of past on top of it. Don't worry about small gaps.
  8. Spread all the ricotta mix in one thick layer. Add a very thin layer of sauce over it, and sprinkle on a little cheese. Add another layer of pasta.
  9. Add one layer of baby spinach leaves, and spread 1/3 of the remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the remaining cheese.
  10. Repeat pasta, spinach, sauce, cheese layer. Top it off with the remaining sauce and cheese.
  11. Form foil tent over lasagna. Bake for 60 minutes. Remove tent and bake till desired level of browning on top.
Notes
The cooking time assumes that you are building the lasagna with sauce that is still hot and noodles that are coming right from the boiling water. If you don't build it hot, it will probably need to cook a little longer.