When Molly was up for showing me how she makes homemade lasagna noodles rolled entirely by hand I was pumped. I can’t eat them but, man was I happy to shoot her making these beauties (and housing all the layers between noodles)! This lasagna was a BIG hit in our houses. It’s chock full of flavorful vegetables and the perfect satisfying dish for any meatless Monday (or wednesday, or thursday…). I actually think I like it better than it’s meaty cousin. GASP! Shhhh don’t tell, snitches get stitches!

Molly’s artisanal noodle making was so very beautiful to shoot that I’ve included more images than usual to take ya’ll on the “maker’s” journey with us. Kick back and enjoy because there’s plenty of work to come when you make and roll your own lasagna noodles the old-fashioned way;) You can do it! Let’s see those muscles!

Woman cracking an egg into a pile of flour to make pasta.

Woman cracking an egg into a pile of flour to make pasta.

Woman kneading dough to make pasta.

Woman pulling and flipped fresh rolled pasta dough.

Woman cutting freahly made lasagna noodles.

Sauteed pan of vegetables including squashes, onion and tomatoes.

Woman assembling a vegetable lasagna with homemade noodles.

Woman assembling a vegetable lasagna with homemade noodles.

Woman assembling a vegetable lasagna with homemade noodles.

Woman spooning vegetable sauce.

Woman assembling a vegetable lasagna with homemade noodles.

PASTA
  • 3 c.+ All purpose flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tbsp of warm water
~ Form a volcano shape with the flour and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
~ Crack eggs into the well of the flour.
~ Using a fork begin to beat the eggs and slowly draw in the flour the combine. As the dough starts to come together, use your hands to knead. Add warm water or more flour to get a tacky, yet firm consistency.
~ Let the dough rest for 1 hour. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Using a rolling pin roll (or a pasta maker if you have one!) out each ball like your life depends on! Roll the dough to approximately 1/8 of an inch or thinner.
~ Use a paring knife to cut each sheet into 3-4 inch strips. Each sheet will yield 3-4 strips. Lay the strips out flat to dry while make the ragu and herbed cheese fillings.
VEGGIE RAGU
  • 1 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Yellow Squash
  • 1 Green Zucchini
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh herbs (we used Basil, Thyme, and Rosemary)
  • 1/4 c. light dry red wine (we used Pinot Noir)
  • 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Chop all of the fresh veggies into bite size pieces. For the squash and zucchini quarter then slice.
~ Heat olive oil to a large skillet at medium heat. combine squash, zucchini, peppers, and onion to skillet. Saute for 5-7 minutes until all of the veggies begin to soften.
~ Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
~ Add in tomatoes and red wine. Let the mixture cook down stirring occasionally to break up whole tomatoes. Season with parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Allow the mixture to simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for another 30 minutes.
HERBED CHEESE FILLING
  • 1 container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh herbs (we used Basil, Thyme, and Rosemary)
  • Fresh ground pepper
Combine all ingredients and stir well add more pepper and herbs to your liking.
Layering and baking: 
~ Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~ Use an 11X13 baking dish to layer the lasagna in. Coat the bottom of the pan with the veggie mixture and then lay down the first layer of pasta. Add a thicker layer of the veggie mixture on top of the pasta and then dot with tsp. size spoonfuls of the HERBED cheese mixture. Layer again with pasta and repeat. You should have enough pasta and filling for four layers.
~ After the last layer of pasta, add the last of the veggies and cheese plus shredded bits of mozzarella cheese, more herbs, and pepper. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and lightly golden! Let it cool for 10-15 minutes for serving. Voila : )
 Homemade vegetable lasagna with handmade noodles.

Holy smokes this recipe is AMAZING! It’s one of those winter meals I could be gross enough to eat every single day and just get hopelessly fat. Every. Single. Day. Sure it’s a formidable amount of cheese and cream but, hey, it’s cauliflower not pasta so that has to count for something, right?! RIGHT?!?!?!? Ha! Anyway, this is crazy delicious, silly easy and may just help warm you through these bitter cold nights most of the country is suffering. Bletch! Try it, you’ll love it! Nevermind how very wintry it looks. So lovely…

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  • ~2 pounds cauliflower, a large head – washed and cut into florets
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup 2 % milk
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • few slices crusty sourdough bread, torn into bites
  • 4 ounces meaty mushrooms, shitakes or trumpet really sing here but any mushroom will work
  • butter, enough to saute mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh thyme (or 1/2 Tablespoon dried thyme)
  • 1/2 cup gruyere cheese, shredded

~ Prepare and ice bath in a large bowl in the sink.

~ Heat the oven to 400°F and grease a baking dish with butter or cooking spray.

~ Blanch the cauliflower in salt water for 2 minutes. Drain, plunge into ice bath until cooled, drain again or dry VERY well.

~ Heat a generous amount of butter in a skillet and saute mushrooms with rosemary and thyme until softened and fragrant.

~ Whisk together the cream, milk, cheese and the eggs, season with salt, ground black pepper. Reserve a bit of this mixture and toss the remainder with the cauliflower and bread. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Pour the reserved portion of the mixture over the cauliflower in the baking dish (this makes the top beautifully cheesy;). Bake for 35 minutes or so until the liquid is absorbed and the top is golden brown. Bake time may vary depending on the depth of the baking dish used so keep an eye on it.

Savor and ENJOY!!!

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Hooray for spring, which is pretty much the same as summer here in Los Angeles! There’s no easier way to shake the stresses of daily life than to take a breather and have a lovely, delicious picnic in perfect weather. The light dapples through trees, the fruit is plump and ripe, the cheeses are indulgent and stink to high heaven, and the wine in full-bodied and rich. Deep inhales of nature and oxygen, the clean yet warm smell of trees and leaves, take a beat from this hectic life and have yourself a rustic picnic. Not sure where to start? No worries, it’s easy and totally worth it.

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1- Good Company and a beautiful day: The most essential component to a divine picnic!

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2- Lovely, tender meats like Prosciutto di Parma and a seasoned hard salami.

3- High-end cheeses that can hold their own like an aged parmigiano reggiano and a triple cream brie.

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4- A nice crusty, rustic bread (I like a kalamata olive bread here) with a simple dipping oil made from olive oil, red pepper flakes, and fresh minced rosemary and thyme. Don’t forget the cornichons (pickles) for a nice crisp bite!

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5- Plump ripe berries like raspberries and blueberries drizzled with local raw honey.

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6- Some wildflowers, a blanket and some great red wine to finish the mood.

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ENJOY!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

What a year 2012 was! This holiday season we were chock full of festivities as we hosted Christmas Eve, Christmas day, and New Year’s Eve. With all the celebrating, it was a great time to test out a bunch of recipe ideas. This recipe was a winner (admittedly among a stinker attempt or two) and who couldn’t use a few more really impressive looking appetizer recipes up their sleeve. When you think of gorgeous, delicate appetizers I’d wager that the humble potato doesn’t come to mind. Dowdy and unassuming, the potato can be easily overlooked, but with a little slicing and herbs it is easily transformed.

I recommend a mandolin for slicing the potatoes so the slices are fairly uniform in thickness and cook evenly. Trust me, I think mandolins are scary as hell and a couple years ago even cut the tip of my thumb off trying to use one on a butternut squash! Seriously. Super duper gross. This recipe was the first time I’ve touched that menacing little torture tool since it took a hunk of my flesh. I’m glad I did because I’m pretty sure it’d have taken me a lifetime to thinly slice all of those potatoes! So here’s to the humble potato and overcoming kitchen fears in the new year! HA!

  • 1-1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes – each slightly larger than a golf ball
  • coarse sea salt and ground pepper
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves (or finely chopped fresh thyme)
  • 2 diced green onions or 1 diced shallot
  • 1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese

~Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 6 cup muffin tin or a large baking dish with butter or cooking spray.

~Thinly slice potatoes, preferably with a mandolin to ensure uniform thickness. Place a few slices in each cup and top with cheese, onion, thyme and season with salt and pepper. Continue layering potatoes and seasoning every few slices, until stacks reach top of baking dish.

~Pour roughly 1 tablespoon heavy cream over each. Cover and bake until potatoes are golden brown and tender, about 40 minutes, removing cover half way through baking to get them nice and crispy on the edges. Gently scoop them out and serve immediately.

ENJOY!!!

all rights reserved Crystal Cartier COPYRIGHT 2012

 

 

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