Sunday, June 08, 2008

Truly from scratch

The first "Tried and True" blogging event was a great concept. Why not share our best and favorite recipes? We copy enough recipes from blogs, here is a place to find the best. The second "Tried and True" goes one step further. Now Giz and Psychgrad are asking not only for our best and favorite, but also our healthiest. They've attached this entry to a noble cause - organ donation.

I'm lucky, I don't have any experience with organ donation. We have our fair share of diseases affecting all aspects of the body, from the brain to the prostate/ovaries. However, such disease in my family has never required an organ transplant or donation. Nevertheless, I can't help but send my heart out to all those who have sacrificed a part of themselves so that someone else could live.

I knew I wanted to take part in the event, but I was a little intimidated by what to enter. And then I remembered how I wanted to make lasagna from scratch. I love making lasagna, and its very easy to make a lighter version - especially when you make your own noodles! And ever since I got my pasta maker I've been dying to make my own noodles.

To keep this lighter I made whole wheat pasta and then used skim milk ricotta. Turkey sausage instead of beef sausage, and I tossed on some baby broccoli for folate, vitamin C, and fiber. It comes out gorgeous and there's such a sense of accomplishment when you start with some flour and eggs and end up with this!

Whole wheat lasagna with broccolini
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 large eggs
30 oz part skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup pesto
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb turkey sausage
1 bunch baby broccoli, cleaned
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 cups part skim mozzarella, shredded
3 Tbsp toasted pine nuts

1) Make a mountain of flour on your work surface, then create a crater in the center.

2) Add 2 eggs in the crater. Use a fork and beat the eggs in the crater incorporating a little bit of the flour at a time. Once the egg mixture begins to look like a batter, you can start incorporating more of the flour into the dough. After mixing all the flour, you will end up with a dough. If the dough is still sticky, add some more flour. Knead the dough until it feels smooth. Let the dough rest covered in a bowl, for 15-20 minutes.

3) Divide the dough in thirds and run through the pasta machine according to your directions.

4) In a large bowl combine ricotta and pesto and remaining egg.

5) Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Remove sausage casings and and cook until browned.

6) Heat remaining olive oil over medium high in large skillet and add brocollini and garlic. Cook about 1 minutes. Reduce heat and add 1/4 cup water; simmer, partially covered until greens are crisp yet tender, 3 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

7) Set aside 1/2 cup baby broccoli and toss remaining greens with sausages.

8) Heat oven to 375. Coat a lasagna pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cover bottom of pan with pasta, cutting to fit.

9) Spread ricotta mixture over first layer of pasta, then top with another layer of pasta.

10) Spoon sausage greens mixture over second pasta layer. Top with another layer of pasta.

11) Sprinkle mozzarella cheese, then remaining broccoli rabe. Sprinkle pine nuts on top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook another 10 minutes.


  1. i hear ya on that "sense of accomplishment" thing. felt the same way when i started with an egg and some vegetable oil and wound up with mayo ;)

  2. Your recipe is a beautiful entry. I also love broccolini - one of the great power foods.

  3. Wow, this is so delicious looking. A total labor of love!

  4. Thanks a LOT.

    Now I lust after a pasta machine.

    I blame you, soleyl!!

  5. That melted cheese looks heavenly!

  6. impressionable cooking mind wants a damned pasta machine too. I don't have room for stuff like that!

  7. Wow, this looks and sounds fantastic. I'm trying my best to you use whole wheat flour as much as poss.

  8. even though it's healthy, i still want some. ;)

  9. I love veggies in lasagne. I've actually got a recipe with some zucchini that I'm waiting to post. Looks good!

  10. That's a really healthy lasagna! Loving it.

    Great entry to T&T