Here's my first [photographed] creation. Since, this was my first time making lasagna with fresh pasta noodles I turned to my trusty friend, Google, to do a little research. To boil or not to boil that is the question. I typed in "boil fresh pasta lasagna" in the search field and stumbled upon this lovely recipe for a 1000 layer lasagna. I was inspired by the idea of using many delicate sheets of fresh pasta instead of a few thick, store-bought lasagna sheets. I didn't follow the recipe, but loved the concept of the dish. The thin layers would soak up all the flavors of the sauce and really make the simple flavors pop in your mouth. Since we were working with such thin pieces of pasta, I actually opted not to pre-boil. It would cook up quickly in the oven. One less pot to wash. I'm all for that and so is B, since he's usually the one on dish duty. I whipped up a simple marinara sauce with an extra kick from the addition of red pepper flakes. In place of ricotta, I had strained a tub of non-fat plain yogurt overnight to make a nice thick yogurt cheese. I also used parmesan and grated sharp cheddar (sounds weird, but it actually worked really well in this dish). I layered the noodles, sauce and cheeses in a buttered Pyrex and baked it until brown and bubbly on top.
Smelled good coming out of the oven. Time for the taste test. Holy cow! This one's a winner. I never thought I could like a cheese lasagna this much. It's such a heavy, comfort food, but this one felt so luxurious in your mouth. Light and delicate. The flavors married beautifully. I actually tasted the pasta in a lasagna. It's usually all about the sauce or the cheese or the other fillings, but in this case, the layers of pasta were just as important. If you've never made lasagna with fresh pasta, I urge you to do so. It makes such a huge difference. Please. For the love of lasagna!