Once you get into making basic pasta it then opens the door to all the other delicious pasta possibilities. The easiest variety is to add dry ingredients; chilli powder and paprika are regular favourites of mine but the next step is to make it even more delicious and notorious by throwing in some greens. Traditionally lasagne Verdi is made with spinach but as this was not in my fridge I decided to try it with some other greens instead, and it was delicious. Next on my list has to be fresh herbs, my mouth is watering at the thought of some fresh basil pasta with a simple arrabiata sauce and parmesan, yum yum.
For the pasta
– 70g rocket
– 70g Swiss chard – stems removed
– 200g 00 flour
– ½ tsp salt
– 2 eggs
For the Roasted Veggies
– 1 courgette – roughly chopped
– 1 yellow pepper – roughly chopped
– ½ butternut squash – peeled and roughly chopped
– 1 tbsp light soy sauce
– ½ tbsp. corn oil
– 150g button mushrooms – halved
– 1 white onion – roughly chopped
– 2 cloves garlic – peeled and sliced
– 2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
– 2 tbsp tomato puree
– 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
– 1 tsp oregano
– Pinch sugar
For the béchamel
– 1 mint semi-skimmed milk
– 2 tbsp corn flour- mixed with a splash of water into a paste
– 1 vegetable stock cube
– 1 tsp mustard
– Splash double cream
For the topping
– Parmesan cheese
– Black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180’C
Steam the rocket and the chard until wilted and then finely chop.
Give the veg a good squeeze to get out any excess liquid and set aside to dry out.
To make the pasta, mix together the dry ingredients with the greens and then add the eggs
Bring the mixture together until well combined and then knead the dough on a floured worktop until you have a smooth consistency
To roll out the pasta you could ideally do with a pasta maker, otherwise roll out the pasta as thin as you possibly can.
If you are using a pasta roller divide the pasta dough into three and make sure the dough you set aside is covered so it doesn’t dry up
Squash the dough flat and then on the widest setting, pass it though the pasta machine.
Fold the dough in half and pass it through again, repeating 4-5 times – You may need to regularly flour the pasta dough to stop it from sticking
Once you have completed your steps and you have smooth dough, reduce the size of the gap on the machine and pass the dough through; continue to do this until you are 2-3 sizes away from the smallest dough size.
Set the pasta sheet aside and cover while you repeat the process with the other dough.
Make sure the dough is well covered while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
In a large roasting dish toss the courgette, squash and pepper with the soy sauce and oil and roast for 20 minutes.
After this time stir on the onions, mushrooms, garlic and onions and return to the oven for another 20 minutes
Finally stir in the tomatoes, puree, balsamic, oregano and sugar and return to the oven for a final 20 minutes.
While the sauce is cooking make the béchamel by heating the milk until steaming
Stir in the stock cube and the flour paste and continue to stir until the sauce has thickened.
Once you have a sauce that coats the back of the spoon stir in the mustard and the cream.
In a lasagne dish, spread a ladle of the béchamel on the bottom and then top with a layer of pasta (trimming to size). Add half the roasted veg, followed by a layer of pasta, then the remaining vegetables and then a final layer of pasta.
Pour over the remaining béchamel and the finish off with parmesan and fresh black pepper – you can even throw in some sliced tomatoes if you wish.
Bake in the oven to 40-45 minutes and then serve with heaps of salad.