On May 14th I wrote about making the woven lasagna featured on the cover of the June issue of Food and Wine magazine. While it has been a bit more than a month, last night we had Woven Pasta Part Two.
It is still a lot of work but I was smarter this time. So here is what I learned and I have included pictures to demonstrate.
I made my pasta dough in my Kitchen Aid mixer as opposed to a food processor. I let it rest overnight and had my husband help me when it came time to roll it out. The recipe calls for the dough to be rolled out to the highest setting in the pasta machine, in the case of my machine 9. We got to level 7 on my machine and the pasta was tearing, so we started again and went to level 6. Here’s how it looked rolled out.
The sheet was rolled out and cut to the dimensions called for in the recipe – 32 inches by 5 inches. You need two of these. I also found that I used about half the dough for this recipe. The rest will be turned into pasta rags or pappardella.
The next step is to boil the sheets, one at a time in 4 quarts of salted water. Putting the sheets into the pot was one thing, getting them out was another thing altogether. The directions say to use a spider and tongs, which we did. Still an adventure trying to get all of the pasta out without tearing.
We had a few tears but nothing I was going to worry about. The directions tell you to oil the sheets and fold in half. I ended up using two large cookie sheets to accommodate the two cooked folded pieces without overlapping them as well..
The next step is to make the filling. I assembled and prepped all of the ingredients.
Filling ingredients include 6 oz of prosciutto, minced, 16 oz of whole milk ricotta, 3 ounces of Parmesan and 2 tbl. of fresh rosemary finely. All of these went into the food processor to be combined into the filling that would be piped into the the lasagna and the pasta woven around it.
While this isn’t the greatest picture, you can see the rows of filling. This is the second row I put into the pan. They went into the troughs left when the pasta sheets were tucked around the piped filling. After the last adventure making this dish, I decided I really needed to purchase a sturdy piping bag with the appropriate size tip. Fortunately the local Michael’s is open and I could find what I needed in the cake and candy decorating section of the store. They worked much better than the plastic bag with a 3/4″ tip cut into the end that the recipe called for.
Once I used up all of the filling it was time to cover the filling with the final sheets of lasagna noodles and trim the excess.
As you can see, the pasta sheets now completely encase the filling. At this point you need to place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the lasagna let it rest, in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
The next night I was ready to cook the lasagna for dinner. You unmold the lasagna by running an offset spatula around the loaf pan and turning it out unto a cutting board. I find it easiest to place a cutting board over the top of the loaf pan and then inverting the pan. A quick tap on the inverted loaf pan and the lasagna popped out.
I used my electric knife to cut two 1 1/2 ” slices from the loaf. They get placed on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and then the top and sides are coated in olive oil.
The final touch is a sprinkling of fresh Parmesan cheese before putting them into an oven preheated to 500 degrees F. The recipe calls for them to be baked for 6 to 10 minutes but they take a little longer at altitude.
While they were cooking I made the spinach sauce for the plates. And here’s the finished product.
And to give you an idea of the impact of using a good piping bag, here’s the image I shared back in May when I made this for the first time.
The ridges of filling are much more defined with a good piping bag.
I als0 discovered the recipe indicated you can freeze the loaf before cooking. I divided the remaining lasagna loaf into two pieces which will be enough for two more meals. And the best part – virtually no additional work!