Every once in a while I have the wherewithal to make lasagna with homemade noodles. This evening I decided to try something different. Instead of traditional red sauce and ricotta I made a creamy béchamel sauce and layered the spinach noodles with shredded chicken and marinated artichoke hearts. The marinade from the artichokes added a tangy flavor to the dish and the creamy sauce was pure deliciousness. You can of course use store-bought noodles, but there’s something fancy about fresh pasta.
White lasagna with fresh spinach pasta
For the pasta:
- 3 eggs
- about 4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 oz. fresh baby spinach
For the lasagna:
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- 2 cups marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 3 cups béchamel sauce (whatever recipe you prefer)
Directions for the pasta:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Boil the spinach for 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly and once cooled, chop finely. Spoon a heaping tablespoon into a Kitchen Aid mixer bowl. Add the eggs and oil and lightly beat. Using the dough hook, slowly add the flour until you have a dough that is not sticky and firm to the touch. Knead on a floured surface for a few minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest for at least 20 minutes.
In the meantime, cook your chicken and shred it. I put two frozen chicken breasts in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes with a little chicken stock and that did the trick.
Combine shredded chicken with artichokes and spices.
Roll out the dough using the Kitchen Aid pasta roller (or use a rolling pin and sweat a whole lot). Continue to flatten until you’ve reached level 4. If a little sticky, dust with flour and hang on a laundry drying rack.
Make your béchamel sauce and set aside.
Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil. Cut each piece of pasta into two or three strips (roughly the length of a casserole dish). Add six noodles at a time and boil for two minutes. Remove noodles and set aside.
Butter a casserole dish. Add a ladleful of béchamel sauce and line the dish with noodles. Add half of the chicken mixture and sprinkle with mozzarella. Add some more sauce and another layer of noodles. Sprinkle on some mozzarella and parmesan. Add some more sauce and another layer of noodles. Add the rest of the chicken mixture and some sauce and one last layer of noodles. Top with mozzarella and parmesan and pour on some more sauce.
Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.