A staple in many American homes, most people agree lasagna is wholesome comfort food. As I tried to recreate a recipe for lasagna using venison, I had come to the realization that store-bought ingredients just won’t do for this. I took it a step further and decided to make the ingredients from scratch. The pasta, tomato sauce, and ricotta are all scratch-made in this dish. Making them from scratch not only makes the dish more memorable to you but shows more respect for the animal. This dish will not only create a memory for you, but also for those that eat it. Those memories help that animal be remembered forever.
The pasta is simple to make and once you have fresh homemade pasta, it will be hard to go back to store-bought. You are able to control the thickness and consistency of the pasta while putting in minimal work. The pasta only takes about 10 minutes to make followed by a rest of 30 minutes and then about 10 minutes of rolling out. Using a pasta sheeter makes quick work of rolling out the dough but it can be done by hand if necessary. My recipe will produce a chewier pasta that I personally like for this dish. For other dishes I may make a lighter pasta by adjusting the recipe. If you notice your dough is too wet, add a small amount of flour, about 1 tablespoon worth, and kneed again. Repeat until the dough is not sticky. If the dough is too dry, add a light sprinkle of water, about 1 teaspoon worth, and kneed it all in. Repeat until the dough has taken in all the flour in the bowl.
The tomato sauce is packed with flavor from the oven roasting the tomatoes. Adding your own personal twist on what ingredients you use in the pasta sauce can create a sauce that you can pass down for generations to come. Roasting the tomatoes helps build an umami flavor base that you can add onto with onion, garlic, herbs, and spices. Using quality tomatoes can really heighten this sauce. I personally use heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes.
Cheese-making can scare some people, but I promise, this simple ricotta is entry-level and will build your confidence in the kitchen. This ricotta uses 3 ingredients and a little bit of time to help bring this whole dish together. You can make the cheese as dry or as wet as you like it.
The first time I made this dish, it instantly became my favorite way to make lasagna. It requires a little bit of extra time but the cheese and sauce can be made a day or two ahead of time to cut down on the total time required. This recipe makes enough for a bread pan which is enough for about 2-4 servings depending on how big you like your pieces of lasagna.
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