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Herbed Lasagna with Oregano Puree

Herbed Lasagna with Oregano Puree

There are two ways you can make this dish: The easy way or the fun way.

Of course to me, “fun” sometimes means taking a couple hours to make it from start to finish.

But – in defense of my insanity – I received a pasta roller for my birthday last week.

A gorgeous, red pasta roller.

Oh, and for Christmas Jedd surprised me with a homemade pasta drying rack.

A wonderful handmade pasta drying rack.

I promptly burst into tears when I unwrapped it.

(Again, in my weird defense it has been a rough holiday season. My grandmother has been really ill, and it was difficult to feel the “holiday spirit.” It was a very un-Christmas-like Christmas. So, seeing the love and work that Jedd put into that pasta rack made me cry the happy tears.)

At any rate, I was feeling like I needed a project on a cold and windy Monday. So I decided to make lasagna completely from scratch.

And this was definitely a “project.” However, it was soothing – and at times pretty funny – because we have a small space. At one point between the sauce, the hanging noodles, the large pot of boiling water and trying to balance the lasagna pan on the toaster and microwave, I definitely got the giggles.

If you decide to use pasta from a box, it will be much easier.

However, I loved the herby homemade lasagna noodles and Jedd raved about the silky texture of both the noodles and the sauce. Also, for someone who loves to cook, one of the best smells in the world is a cheese sauce bubbling away on the stove top.

The one thing that is actually easy as pie, though, is the oregano puree. It comes together in seconds, and I want to eat in on everything.


Playing with new toys? Check. A hearty meal? Check.

It was a lovely way to spend a cold afternoon.

Herbed Lasagna with Oregano Puree

Makes 9 pieces.

Pasta Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons dried dill
2 teaspoons dried basil
3 large organic eggs
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the flour, salt and herbs in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse several times. Add the eggs and process until the pasta forms a ball and “lassos” around the food processor bowl. If it leaves streaks on the sides, then it’s too wet. If this is the case add another tablespoon of flour and process again briefly.

Roll the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Start with the first piece of dough, and wrap the others in plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.

Sprinkle a flat work surface with flour, and roll out the pasta so it’s flat. Put it through the pasta roller on the widest setting, twice in succession. Fold the pasta over itself, and run it through 2 more times. Then run it through once on each successively narrower setting.

Rolling Pasta

When it’s approximately 9 inches long, place it on a cookie sheet, and lightly sprinkle both sides with flour to keep from sticking.

Repeat with remaining pasta dough. (*Note, if you have any remaining pasta scraps just toss them with flour and freeze. They’re perfect to toss into soups.)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the noodles for 2 minutes. Drain and hang to keep from sticking while preparing the rest of the dish.

Hanging Pasta

Parmesan Sauce Ingredients:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, diced into ½-inch pieces
4 tablespoons unbleached flour
3 cups half and half or milk
½ cup grated or shredded parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the flour and stir for 1 minute. Add the half and half and cook until hot but not quite simmering, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the parmesan. When the sauce is smooth, remove from heat and add pepper to taste.

Lasagna Filling Ingredients:
2 cups ricotta
1 egg
½ cup shredded parmesan
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl combine the ricotta and egg. Mix in the rest of the ingredients.

Remaining Lasagna Ingredients:
2 large organic tomatoes
¼ cup diced red onion
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Assembly Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375.

Ladle enough parmesan sauce to cover the bottom of a lasagna pan. Place 2 noodles over the sauce. Spread a layer of ricotta mixture over the noodles, and top with ½ of the sliced tomatoes and onions. Pour ½ cup of sauce over the noodles.

Repeat and top with the last two noodles.

Pour remaining parmesan sauce over the top layer.

Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and top with mozzarella. Bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Let cool for 10 minutes.

Oregano Puree Ingredients:

¼ cup fresh oregano
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup olive oil
¼ small red onion, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until smooth.

Serve puree with lasagna.

(Photos by Launie Kettler)

1 thought on “Herbed Lasagna with Oregano Puree

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