Homemade lasagne pasta sheets (lasagna)
Everybody loves a good baked lasagna (lasagne al forno to the Italians). And, here on The Pasta Project there is a growing number of delicious baked lasagna recipes (yes there are different ways to make it!). However, making lasagne al forno with homemade lasagne pasta is pretty unbeatable!
(Scroll down for recipe)
Baked lasagna around Italy.
Baked lasagna is a classic dish in most Italian regions. However, the recipe varies from region to region. In Northern Italy, they make it with fresh or dried egg pasta. Usually, the other ingredients are a classic Bolognese sauce or meat ragu, Parmigiano Reggiano or grana cheese and bechamel .
In Emilia-Romagna, they often use green lasagne pasta sheets, made with spinach. A great favourite of mine for baked lasagna from Emilia-Romagna is baked pasta roses or swallow’s nests (nidi di rodine) (see link below). In this dish, the lasagne sheets are rolled with ham and cheese and sometimes other ingredients inside them and then baked covered in bechamel. I have made this recipe with homemade lasagne and boy is it good!
In Naples, Neapolitan lasagna, a typical carnival dish, is prepared with Neapolitan ragu, meatballs, cow’s ricotta, provola and pecorino cheese. Interestingly, the lasagne in the south is often dried and made without egg.
In some Italian mountain areas, they substitute the ragu or meat sauce with mushrooms. Whereas, they sometimes use pesto instead of ragu in Liguria, and in Veneto, red radicchio from Treviso.
In Umbria and in Marche, there is a particular version called ‘vincisgrassi’ in which the ragu is enriched with chicken or pork offal. In the Apennines, the ragu is replaced by a filling of porcini, truffles and pecorino and in Sicily, there is also the ‘alla Norma’ version with eggplants. Or, they add boiled eggs to the dish.
Not all Italian recipes for ‘lasagne al forno’ contain tomatoes. In fact, there are many ‘white’ recipes too. Italians say ‘lasagna bianca’. A ‘white’ lasagna I particularly love comes from Puglia. It’s made with mushrooms and burrata (see link below). Believe me when I say, it’s amazingly delicious. Plus, there’s no meat included, perfect for vegetarians too!
Here in Northern Italy, people also call these dishes (red and white) ‘pasticcio’. However, although pasticcio has layers of pasta with various fillings baked in the oven, it isn’t always with lasagne sheets.
Making homemade lasagne pasta is easy!
Fresh lasagne sheets are available to buy throughout Italy. But, the absolute best is homemade lasagne. It’s actually pretty easy to make, with or without a pasta machine. Why not give it a try next time you want to make a baked lasagna? I’m sure once you’ve done it, you’ll want to do it again and again! There really is quite a difference in the taste of homemade pasta and store bought, even if the latter is fresh!
Do you need to precook fresh lasagne?
When making your baked lasagna dish you can either precook the pasta for a couple of minutes in boiling salted water before assembling the dish or use it raw. In the latter case, the sauce needs to be a little more liquidy. I usually don’t precook fresh pasta.
If you do try making your own homemade lasagne, I’d love to hear how it turns out. Please, write a comment here on the blog or post a comment on the Pasta Project Facebook page.
Your feedback means a lot to me!
Recipes on The Pasta Project for your homemade lasagne pasta.
(just click on the name of the recipe to go to that page)
- Lasagne al forno with Bolognese from Emilia-Romagna
- Radicchio pasticcio (Italian chicory lasagna) from Veneto
- Baked lasagna alla Norma from Sicily
- Baked pasta roses from Emilia-Romagna
- Lasagna bianca with mushrooms and burrata from Puglia
- Italian lamb lasagna
- Poached salmon and asparagus lasagna
- Lasagna baked in broth from Molise
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Homemade lasagne/lasagna pasta
- 400 g Italian soft wheat flour '00' (14oz) All purpose flour can be used too.
- 4 eggs large
- 1 pinch salt
- To make the pasta, mound your flour on a large wooden board. Make a well in the center and add a pinch of salt.
- Break the eggs into the well and whisk them a little ( you can also beat eggs in a small bowl and then add to flour or start by mixing flour and eggs together in a bowl and then turn out onto a board to knead)
- Start to incorporate the eggs and flour by slowly bringing more flour in from the inside edges of the well. You can use a fork or scraper for this.
- Continue mixing the flour with the eggs until they are no longer runny.
- Using your hands now, bring the outside edges in, forming a large mass on your board.
- Begin to knead the dough as you would bread, pushing it down with the heel of your hand.
- Continue kneading for about 7-10 minutes. Knead until the pasta dough is smooth, elastic, and just slightly tacky. You can dust the dough with more flour if it’s too sticky, but try not to add too much additional flour or the pasta will be tough.
- Roll the dough into a ball and wrap it in cling film and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
- Cut off 1/6 of the dough, re-wrap the rest in cling film so it doesn’t dry out and roll out the piece you cut off until it is flat enough that you can pass it through a pasta machine if you are using one.
- I used my pasta machine to roll out the sheets, first 3-4 times on number 6 or 7 on the dial (widest setting) and then a couple of times more on number 4. Each time you pass the dough through the machine fold it first into thirds and pass it through again until it comes out with the right thickness and length. If you want even thinner sheets you can also pass the dough through again on number 2 or 3. Cut the sheet to the length you want.
- If you aren’t using a machine you need to keep rolling out the dough until it is thin enough to almost see your fingers through it. Then cut the sheet to the size you want.
- Transfer the ready sheets to a drying rack while you prepare the rest. Repeat with the remaining dough. (the lasagne can be stored, when completely dry and stiff, for up to 1 week). If you don't have a drying rack see recipe notes.
Pin for Later
New recipes for homemade pasta sheets you will love.
I’ve just posted (March 27th 2020) a great recipe for homemade pasta sheets that you should check out! Baked fazzoletti from Abruzzo
Also worth trying is this recipe from Liguria for silk handkerchief pasta squares with pesto. Just cut your pasta sheets into squares instead of rectangles! Silk handkerchief pasta with pesto.
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hi, I made these lasagne sheets but when i dry them they won’t stay flat. Do you have any tips on drying them flat?
Hi Sophie, thanks for your comment. There are some notes about drying the pasta sheets flat under the recipe instructions. Basically they need to lie on something they won’t stick to like a flour dusted sheet of baking paper or fine tea towel placed on a surface that allows air to circulate, like a wire mesh cooling rack. If the sheets aren’t flat when they dry you can blanch them in hot water before assembling you lasagna.
Sherry Chamberlin says
I make fresh pasta all the time and make extra to dry it to save for later. I wanted to make lasagna sheets so I can make ravioli and I need them to stay fresh as I make more sheets. My kitchen is small so I can’t make 2 sheets, assemble and start again making sheets. I need to make all my ravioli sheets ahead of time, clean up that mess and then assemble all at once. How do I keep the sheets from drying out before I’m done rolling out the rest?
Hi Sherry, thanks for your comment. Pasta sheets will start to dry out not long after making, but it takes a little while. I think if you have a place you can lie them flat on a slightly damp tea towel, they’ll stay soft enough to make ravioli once you’ve finished making the pasta.
You could also put them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper in-between sheets and keep the sheet pan covered in wrap while working.
Hello, I’m wondering what machine you used to make these. I am looking at machines. Yours doesn’t seem to be the KitchenAid attachment, which I don’t want. Maybe I’m wrong.
I’m looking for something under $150 if it’s electric. I’d also like to be able to roll out egg roll wrappers. A machine that can could roll a thickness of at least 5mm is a plus too. Do you have any suggestions ?
Hi Donna, thanks for your comment. My pasta machine is the Marcato Atlas classic pasta machine, which you can find on Amazon. It’s very basic and hand operated. I’ve never used an electric machine. It’s always this one or we roll the pasta out with a rolling pin. But I believe Marcato do make electric machines too.
Clarisa R says
Hi Thanks for sharing! Quick question, and I may have missed something on whaat you wrote… when you mention you don’t precook your pasta, do you assembly with the pasta in its fresh (“soft”) form, or do you dry it out first before assembly? I’m going to try this at some point later this month 😀
Hi Clarisa, oersonally, I usually make my lasagna with soft fresh pasta without drying it out. Assembling it with fresh pasta that has dried a bit is okay too. Just store-bought dried lasagne sheets need blanching before assembling the dish. Do let me know how your lasagna turns out when you make it!
I would like to make lasagna noodles with my kitchen Aid pasta maker but need to assemble it a day or 2 in advance. Can I make the pasta, assemble the lasagna using the fresh noodles, store in refrigerator overnight and bake Christmas Day? Will the fresh pasta hold up ok? Also how thick should I make the noodles. I usually make a Neapolitan lasagna with meatballs, sausage, ricotta, mozzarella.
Hi Marie, thanks for your comment. Re preparing lasagna in advance. Firstly I have always cooked mine almost immediately. Sometimes, I let it cool, put it in the fridge and reheat it in the oven the next day and it tastes great perhaps even better! But I know many Italians do prepare it in advance and either freeze it or keep it in the fridge uncooked. If you do it the day before, I think the fridge would be fine. You could cook the sauce/meat a day earlier. The important thing is to assemble the lasagna when the sauce/meat is cold. That way you avoid the pasta getting soggy and mushy. Re thickness of pasta sheets the normal is 1-1.5 mm (about 0.5-0.7 in). Do let me know how it turns out!
I used this recipe and rolled my pasta to #5 on my kitchen aid pasta roller. When cooked (about 35 min at 400 degrees) the noodles were super gooey, like cheese. I’m assuming overcooked? Maybe you could shed some light?
Hi Sierra, thanks for your comment. It’s difficult to know why your pasta was gooey. Firstly, most probably overcooked as your oven temperature seems high. Secondly, it could also be to do with the consistency of the fresh noodles if they were too ‘wet’ or ‘sticky’to begin with. This can happen if you leave them in the fridge or a humid place before cooking them. Do let me know if you have other questions.
I added a little butter flavoured EVOO. Aside from that, this is incredibly easy to make. It also makes an incredible difference in the lasagne (or chicken noodle soup, for that matter…. I just rough cut the pasta…. the irregular sizes really adds to the “rustic” quality of the soup).
I don’t think I’ve ever tried butter flavoured EVOO. Do you add the butter yourself Doug? I agree hommeade pasta really makes such a difference to the flavours of pasta dishes!
Ford Santa Maria says
When that happened to me it was because I put hot sauce on the fresh noodles creating a gooey texture. This does not happen if the meat sauce is cold or you pre cook the noodles.
Mary Kovoor says
I made these yesterday and they came out amazing! It is such a difference from dry lasagne from the store. I used my KitchenAid pasta attachment and ran the sheets through #1 twice, #2 twice, then once at 4 and one more at 6. Perfection. Cut to exactly 13”x3”.
Hi Mary, so happy to hear your lasagne sheets turned out well! I agree, so much better than store bought dried pasta!
great recipe. Glad you pointed out that with the KitchenAid pasta attachment, the smaller the number, the thicker the pasta! 🙂
Made this tonight and just brilliant. Made lots of pasta but never lasagna as I thought it was difficult! Many thanks.
Donna Sharp says
I made lasagna this past Thanksgiving and made my own sauce for the first time. Just a simple tomato sauce and made my meat mixture separately. I have made homemade pasta in the past (about 25 years ago) when I was a lot younger and healthier. I recently purchased a pasta roller, the one like you use, and the lasagna I made for Thanksgiving was incredible, but I think that it would taste even better with homemade pasta sheets. When I make it, I will let you know how it turns out and thanks for the tips and advice from you and the reviewers. I appreciate all of your help! And thanks for the recipe! Yours was the first one I clicked on. Will be saving it to my home screen.
Thanks for your comment Donna. I’m sure you’ll find making a lasagna with homemade pasta makes it even better. Do let me know how yours turns out!And if you have questions please don’t hesitate to ask!
You’re right, 00 and eggs is wonderful! Question: Have you ever tried using 00 with some semolina (ratio)? Have you ever tried using 00 and egg yolks only, no whites. Thank you.
Hi Jay, thanks for your comment. Yes, 00 flour with eggs makes really good pasta. Re using both types of flour, I haven’t made much pasta like that although I’ve seen recipes with as much as 50% ’00’ and 50% durum wheat semolina. I recently made Sardinian ravioli with durum wheat semolina and water, plus some ‘0’ flour. There are also a lot of traditional pastas made with a mix of wheat flour and another kind of flour. On the blog I have chestnut pasta which is made with ’00’ flour, chestnut flour and eggs! Re only egg yolks the most famous egg yolk only pasta is tagliolini (tajarin) from Piemonte. They use up to 30 egg yolks for a kilo of ’00’ flour (on my to make list!)!!
Anne Lanteigne says
I made pasta for the second time tonight. I used a Kitchen-Aid pasta attachment. I made my dough following a similar recipe but the dough was too dry and not forming a ball with the amount of flour. I added water. Next time I will avoid it.
My greatest challenge was that the dough keep ripping, uneven, hole within it. It was very frustrating and supper was quickly approaching. I found a Utube video that suggested dusting with flour and problem was solved.
Baked 4 layers of 2 panels per layer. It was perfection! Restaurant quality with a meat sauce cooked with just mild, Italian sausage.
I didn’t have a drying rack so I used the back of my chairs. It worked.
Thank you for your comment Anne. Homemade pasta can be a little tricky but once you work out the best way it becomes easy. Here in Italy, we always use 100g flour with one large egg but of course flours and eggs differ. I’m glad you solved the problem with the dough ripping and your dish turned out well! Good idea drying on the back of your chairs!
Janice Forster says
I made this recipe just tonight and I’m excited to serve this tomorrow for the post-christmas party I’m hosting with friends. It’s now drying in the rack and I just wish I could post a Pic. Not my first time to cook pasta but I have a feeling this is the best so far. My family loves pasta very much. I use kitchen aid pasta maker. Sending love from the Philippines. Merry Christmas!
Thanks for your comment Janice and Merry Christmas to you too! Sounds like your friends are in for a treat. I’d love to see pics. Why not join my pastaliciousness group on facebook and share them there?
I put pastaluciouness in the Facebook search but did not find it. Would love to join and learn new techniques and perfect what little knowledge that I have. Could you help me please?
Hi Annette, the name of the Facebook group is Pastaliciousness with an ‘i’ instead of the’u’. Mostly this is a page where people share their pasta dishes. There isn’t much about making homemade pasta, except what I put. But there are some other good groups on FB for pasta lovers. Check out these https://www.facebook.com/groups/466720394027004 and https://www.facebook.com/groups/650493618347055
What can you use if you do not have a drying rack?
Hi Trish, thanks for your comment. If you don’t have a drying rack you can dry the lasagne sheets on a fine tea towel spread over a mesh or wire baking tray placed on top of an oven dish. (Dust the tea towel with some flour). The point is to allow air to circulate. Don’t keep it in the fridge but in a cool place. Of course, if you are going to cook the pasta immediately, then just put it flat on some floured baking paper or a tray. It’s important the pasta doesn’t stick to whatever surface it’s put on.
Steven Carlisle says
Hi this may seem like an odd question…can I make the dough in a stand mixer? I have tendonitis and I can’t kneed it by hand.
Hi Steven, you can use a stand mixer but you’ll probably need to finish off kneading a little by hand. I often do exactly that, make the dough in the mixer and then just knead for 5 minutes on a pastry board. Then I use a pasta machine to roll the sheets out. I’ve never just made the dough in the mixer so I can’t be sure that would work!
Steven Carlisle says
I wanted to come back and report success.
I mixed it in my stand mixer until it came together. Then kneaded for about five minutes by hand.
When I rolled it out, it was a little wet, possibly due to the humidity today, so I dusted it with flour.
Overall, this was the best lasagna I’ve ever made. My husband said, “This takes me back to our meals in Italy.”
Jayashree Joshi Eashwar says
Steven, if you own a breadmaker, you could select the dough-making function. Works beautifully and you don’t require any extra kneading AT ALL. Of course you already have your KitchenAid for the dough…but just saying that the breadmaker ‘dough function’ is very reliable.
I just love this blog and am a huge fan of homemade pasta. Big thanks.
Steve Zagieboylo says
I’ve made a fair bit of pasta, and I’ve stopped doing any hand-kneading at all. The mound of flour technique makes too much mess; the kneading is getting harder as I am getting older; and it doesn’t make any better product, IMO. I just use the dough kneader on my KitchenAid, both to mix and to knead. I do have to help it when the dough gets strong enough just to form a ball around the attachment and just twirl with it. I use a scraper to push it off and force it to knead some more.
(I was here just making a poll of lasagna recipes whether the pre-cook the noodles. I have always gone very thin and not pre-cooked, but I was thinking about leaving them a little thicker and I wondered whether pre-cooking would therefore be necessary.)
Steven Carlisle says
Thanks for the advice! I will try letting the machine do the kneading next time. I ended up kneading five minutes by hand.
Also, for this recipe, I rolled these thin with my KitchenAid pasta attachment and built the lasagna as I went. It was absolutely amazing and the noodles were quite delish.
Can you freeze the individual sheets of pasta to be assembled at a later date and if so how would you do it? Thanks I make ragu lasagna each year for Christmas and make my own noodles just curious about making sheets in advance
Hi Trish, thanks for your comment. Do be honest, I’ve never frozen homemade lasagna sheets. But I know it can be done. My mother-in-law, makes them, lets them dry a bit. blanches in hot water and once they’ve cooled (spread out on a teatowel) puts them in a container separated with plastic wrap and freezes. Some Italians freeze when fresh and then blanch/cook while frozen. I’ve done the latter with other types of fresh pasta but not lasagna sheets. I freeze the pasta for example ravioli spread out on a tray that fits in the freezer and then transferred to a freezer bag.
I was dying for a lasagna for weeks. Thanks to your page, finally had the courage to make my own pasta.
Hi Jacqui. I have a big family who all will be coming for a visit. I thought about making two large pans of lasagna a week before they came, then freeze them and take them out the day before I need them (to thaw) then bake them. Would you do this with fresh pasta? Or bake the lasagna, cool it, then freeze? OR not attempt it at all with fresh pasta? Thank you for all your wonderful recipes.
Hi Sonya, thanks for your comment. I’m happy you like my blog and recipes. Re freezing lasagna with fresh pasta. I know that it’s possible but mostly I don’t like freezing cooked pasta. I find it becomes mushy when reheated from frozen and the taste changes. If I had to, I would freeze it assembled with fresh pasta or no-boil lasagne sheets but not baked. Make sure the ragu and white sauce are cold when you assemble and defrost overnight in the fridge before baking. However, I’ve never actually done this. The most I prepare in advance and freeze is the ragu. Do let me know what you decide to do and how it turna out. All the best from Verona!
Wow, amazing that looks so perfectly done ! Thanks for sharing and the detailed explanation
Kalyon Munnaluru says
Always dreamt of making my own pasta, looks so fresh and delicious……will try it out for sure…thanks for the recipe.. !
Mkaing our own pasa sheets froom scratch is a great thing. This one looks awesome.
Never knew making pasta at home was so easy. After reading this post, I feel motivated to try it out:)
I enjoyed taking a look at the Local Aromas cooking course. The monthly subscription fee looks pretty reasonable, especially if I got organized and was prepared to try a bunch of recipes right away. I may try some exploring of making pasta with gluten-free flour first, though. What a fun post!