Lasagna Noodles ala Carte Recipe

From Dorothy McNett's Recipe Book.

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Lasagna Noodles ala Carte

From Dorothy McNett's recipes at Perfect to fit into an 8 by 10 inch baking dish. Serves 6-8.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
olive oil, approximately 1/2 teaspoon
1 teaspoon snipped fresh basil, if desired to make flavored green tinged pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
pinch of fine sea salt
a few grindings of peppercorns
1 cup half and half (or 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup water, or vegetable or chicken broth)
1 cup grated cheese such as Fontina, Gruyere...
1/4 to 1/2 cup creamy and flavorful Brie or Gorgonzola
3/4 cup "ala carte" such as an artichoke spread, or tiny baby cooked shrimp, or diced crab, or....
drizzles of olive oil
large pot of boiling water (pasta cooker with insert works best)
1 tablespoon salt

In food processor with steel chopping blade in place, whirl the flour and then add the eggs, drizzling drops of olive oil as needed to make dough of crumbly consistency that will cling together when pinched. (If using the basil, add with the flour.) Knead the dough 30 seconds or so with the machine, and then remove to a lightly floured surface and hand knead into a smooth ball. Cover and let it rest several minutes. Cut dough into fourths, and cover the remaining 3 parts. Using a hand pasta machine, have the rollers at the widest setting and put one dough ball through several times to knead it and to flatten it. Progressively tighten the rollers to roll the dough, stopping at the next to last setting, aiming at making the noodles the same length as your baking dish! (don't worry, you can cut and piece!) Hang noodles on a pasta drying rack until ready to cook. Repeat with the remaining pasta dough.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Start heating the water in a large heavy bottomed 8 quart pan. In meantime, in batter bowl combine butter, flour, salt and pepper. Cook in microwave 30 seconds. Whisk, adding another 20-30 seconds if needed to melt the butter. Whisk the roux until smooth, adding the half and half. Cook 1 minute. Whisk well. Cook another 1-2 minutes, whisking well. Add the cheese, whisk to melt. Cook another 30 seconds if needed. Whisk and set aside. Lightly oil the bottom of the baking dish with a drizzle of oil. When water is at a full rolling boil, add the salt and bring back to a boil. Quickly add the noodles. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove from water and rinse with cold water, sprinkling with a little oil if necessary to keep them from sticking together. Place 2-3 noodles in the bottom of the dish, pour on 1/3 of your cheese sauce. Repeat with another layer of noodles and sauce, and then another layer of noodles. Spread all of your "ala carte" choice over and then arrange another layer of noodles and spread over them the remaining sauce. Now arrange the final layer of noodles on top, and just sprinkle with a few drops of oil. (goes like this: noodles, sauce, noodles, sauce, noodles, filling, noodles, sauce, noodles, oil) Bake 30-35 minutes, until it is bubbly on the edges and the top is just beginning to brown a bit. Allow to stand about 10-15 minutes.

Recipe created 1998-07-27.

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