While I will admit that I did enjoy the ravioli in the brown butter sauce, the best part of the batch of homemade pasta dough came the next night when I made the famous “Thousand Layer Lasagna“. One of my go to meals is to simply doctor-up a few jars of pasta sauce (preferably Newman’s Own since it the only reasonably priced brand without HFCS and other crap in the ingredient list) with some chopped onion and garlic and maybe a little italian sausage that has been sautéed in a little olive oil. I make a big batch, let it simmer low for a couple of hours and freeze it into 2 person portions for an easy weeknight meal. Since I made a batch of sauce while making this lasagna, all I had to do was roll out the pasta sheets as thin as possible, and layer it with the sauce and the leftover ravioli filling from the night before. I did this until I ran out of pasta, threw in some plain ricotta and parmesan for good measure and then stuck it in the oven at 375 for 30 mins. This was probably the best lasagna of my life and it was totally just made on a whim. I love when things work out that way.
Thousand Layer Lasagna (with extra sauce to freeze)
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
1 batch of Fresh Pasta (or leftovers from ravioli or store bought fresh)
1-15 oz container of whole milk ricotta
1 large egg
1/2 cup grated parmesan
2-28 oz jars of your favorite pasta sauce (or 2 if you are making some to freeze)
1 medium onion, diced
3-5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2-3 links spicy italian sausage, removed from casings
crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Spice House Little Italy Seasoning (optional, but wonderful)
Make the sauce:
Heat 1 tablespoon or so of olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Saute the chopped onion in the olive oil until beginning to soften. Add the sausage and break up into small pieces until cooked. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or so. Pour in 2 jars of pasta sauce (I like to mix two different flavors, or use my own). Simmer the sauce on low (enough to get a bubble every few seconds), covered, for 1-2 hours. Make sure that you are stirring often enough so it doesn’t burn.
Make cheese filling:
In a bowl, crack the egg and whisk it slightly to break up the yolk. Combine the ricotta and parmesan with the egg and mix to combine. Add kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Set aside.
Roll out pasta:
Divide pasta dough into 8 equal pieces. Flatten one piece into a flat rectangle. Feed through pasta machine at widest setting. Fold in half and repeat 8-10 times. Then feed through the pasta machine moving down the widths until you get to the flattest setting.
Preheat oven to 375F. Begin to assemble lasagna. In a 9 by 13 baking dish (I used 8 x 8 pan since I was using leftovers) spoon a little sauce on the bottom. Then place a layer of pasta. Top with more sauce and cheese and repeat until you run out of pasta dough. Top the top layer with sauce and grated parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with a nice glass of wine.