Sometimes I get an idea in my head and I just don’t allow myself the time or space to pull it off. I mean, making a fresh pasta dough is so easy with Big Red and her pasta rollers, I figured making a quick mid-week lasagna would be a snap, especially with some nontraditional fillings inside. We had these beautiful beets, for instance – three different kinds – and the greens could be sauteed with some shallot and olive oil, chopped fine and mixed with local goat and ricotta cheeses.
Unfortunately, I left my beautiful pasta sheets sitting for far too long under a damp towel, and by the time my water was boiling and I returned to them, they were a sodden mess, completely unusable. I darn near cried. (I’m still a little sad about it.)
But I had to get something together for dinner since I had boiling water and all of these ingredients prepped, and I couldn’t bear to let them go to waste. So I pulled out the heartiest dried pasta we had around – some perciatelli (like a slightly thicker bucatini), which I boiled until short of al dente, tossed with my ricotta/goat cheese mix and the basic béchamel I had on deck, then layered the dressed pasta in my oiled casserole dish with alternate layers of red, gold and striped beets. I lightly pressed the pasta down, drizzled a little olive oil over the top to aid in browning, put it in the oven and waited.
About 25 minutes later, we had a baked pasta casserole. It was good but not stellar that first night, however, it was really good the next day as leftovers for lunch. And speaking of leftovers:
I had cut all of the little trimmings from my fresh pasta sheets into uneven shapes and dried them slightly so that Mike could cook them up for lunch for himself during the week. He did, dressing them with a little fresh tomato sauce he also whipped up. I made him promise to take pictures:
Might have to try that myself sometime.