For the pasta dough
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
4 tablespoons water (optional)
To make pasta dough in a food processor:
Process and blend flour, eggs, salt, and water in food processor until mixture just begins to form a ball, adding more water if needed by spoonfuls. The dough should be firm and pliable and not sticky. Pulse dough for 10 seconds more to knead it and remove from processor. If the dough feels a bit sticky, flour it on the outside, place on a floured surface and let stand for an hour covered by a bowl. This makes your dough more pliable.
For Tomato Sauce:
1-2 tbs olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp dry pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
about 40 oz of tomato puree (I like the Parmalat tomato puree, which is as good as it gets with pre-made crushed tomatoes)
Heat the olive oil in the pan and add the garlic and the shallots, being careful not to burn the garlic. A nice trick is to take the green part from the clove out – it removed a lot of the bitterness that cooked garlic acquires. Add the pepper flakes, salt and then finally, the tomato puree. Cook for a ten minutes or so. No need to cook awhile since this is going on your lasagna.
You will also need:
12 oz Mozzarella cheese
handful of basil leaves (we used the ones we grow upstairs!)
Freshly grated Parmesan (optional for some – but a must for us!)
Start with a well buttered 9×13 dish. Ladle a bit of sauce on the bottom and then a layer of pasta. Then a layer of sauce, and a layer of cheese. Then more pasta, more sauce, more cheese. Repeat until you have no more pasta left. Your last layer of pasta should have enough sauce on top of it to cover the top layer. Sprinkle some cheese, and some basil and voila – you are finally done with the preparation. I know. After all these hours!
Bake for 35 minutes at 375F until fragrant. The edges will get crispy and while that might seem like not a good thing, you’ll wind up wanting the corner pieces – because they will taste so good!