Homemade lasagne with light-as-a-feather homemade lasagne noodles. It just doesn’t get any better. Really.

This morning Victor asked if I would like lasagne for dinner. I said “yes” so fast I scared myself. No one in their right mind – or me – could possibly turn down an offer like that!

Victor went to work making his basic sauce with Italian sausage and let it simmer while he made the pasta.

The pasta is his go-to recipe he adapted from Lydia and he uses it for many of his fantastic pasta dishes.

Cooking fresh and cooking from scratch isn’t as difficult – or impossible – as we are led to believe. Food manufacturers are the ones who are telling us we’re “too busy to cook” because they want to sell us their mass-produced-faux-food with the questionable ingredients devoid of any real nutrition. You really can get dinner on the table without opening a lot of boxes and not once turning on the microwave – and you can do it in no time, at all.

What it does take, however, is an actual desire to do it. I am so glad that desire is in our house.

Fresh Egg Pasta

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt

Spoon 2 3/4 cups of the flour into the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Beat the eggs, olive oil and salt together in a small bowl until blended. With the motor running, pour the egg mixture into the processor. Process until it forms a rough and slightly sticky dough. If the mixture is too dry, drizzle in a very small amount of warm water and continue processing. Scrape the dough out of the work bowl onto a lightly floured counter.

Knead the dough with the heels of your hands until it is smooth, silky and elastic – 5 to 10 minutes of constant kneading.

Flour the work surface and your hands lightly any time the dough begins to stick while you’re kneading.

Roll the dough into a smooth ball and place in a small bowl. Cover and let the dough rest at least an hour before rolling and shaping.

This time around he made sheets of pasta and simply trimmed them all to size.  And since it was fresh pasta, he didn’t cook it first.

The dish was layered with sauce, pasta, cheeses – mozzarella, provolone, asiago, parmesan, romano, and ricotta – pasta, sauce, sausage, more cheese more pasta, more sauce…

It was covered and then went into a 350° oven for an hour.

It came out and cooled and set for about 3 hours and then went back in for 30 minutes covered, and 30 minutes uncovered – again, at 350°.  The first bake-and-cool set the lasagne so it cut easily and held its shape after being reheated.


It was awesome!  The pasta was light as a feather and the filling a perfect blend of flavors. I put a pretty good piece on Nonna’s plate and when she saw it she exclaimed that it was too much. She ate every bite and said she wanted it for dinner again, tomorrow!  Too much, indeed. Victor and I actually went back for seconds, although they were definitely smaller portions the second time around.

We also had a loaf of fresh bread to accompany dinner. I couldn’t let a homemade lasagne get paired with a store-bought loaf!

This is a James Beard recipe, adapted from his Beard on Bread cook book.


Italian Feather Bread

Makes 2 free-form loaves

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (100° to 110° )
  • 1/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5½ to 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • Cornmeal for the pan

Stir the yeast, sugar, and warm water together in a large mixing bowl; let sit till yeast dissolves and starts to proof. In the meantime, melt the butter in the hot water and let cool to lukewarm. Add the salt, and combine with the yeast mixture.

Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough almost comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured board. Using a baker’s scraper or a large spatula, scrape under the flour and dough, fold the dough over, and press it with your free hand. Continue until the dough has absorbed enough flour from the board and becomes easy to handle. Knead for 2 to 4 minutes, being sure to keep your hands well floured, because it is still a sticky dough.

When the dough is soft and smooth, let rest for 5 or 6 minutes and then divide into two. Roll each half into a rectangle about 12” long and 8” wide. Starting from the wide end, roll this up quite tightly, pinching the seams as you roll.

Butter  one or two baking sheets well (I used one) and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place the loaves on the sheets, and let them rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk.

Bake in a preheated 425° oven 40 minutes, or until the loaves are a rich, golden color and make a hollow sound when you tap the crust, top and bottom, with your knuckles. Cool on a rack and slice when quite fresh.

I wrapped one loaf after it cooled and put it in the freezer. I’d rather make a full recipe and freeze than make a half-recipe.

Everything was so good I didn’t even butter my bread – and I always butter my bread.

There’s enough lasagne for lunch tomorrow and half will go into the freezer for another meal in the coming weeks.