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Lasagna

It's been a few years since I made lasagna from scratch. Finding milk that isn't ultra pasteurized has been a problem as it won't set up a curd correctly. But I recently found a place that sells raw milk in South Carolina and they sell non-ultra pasteurized, non-homogenized milk for a little less. So I decided to go for it. The other day I made the ricotta cheese and mozzarella. Today I made the sauce, sausage and pasta and put it all together. But if you are going to do something big like this why not do it twice? I made two batches but in the name of science I did one with store bought ingredients and also the scratch one. Now I have a control group and an experiment group.

What was the verdict? In order to insure they were more or less flavored the same I didn't go full tilt on the seasoning. I didn't tell the guinea pig which was which. They said the scratch one had "more sausage flavor". It had more tooth to the pasta which they liked. And there may have been a touch more ricotta in the one made from off the shelf parts. Given the sometimes unpredictable nature of making things from scratch I would call only three things a great try at trying to clone tore bought stuff. Next time I will go full seasoning. Herb up the ricotta, garlic up the sauce, spice up the sausage. Maybe even a layer of meatballs. But, I will forgo the family tradition of putting raisins in the meatballs. I never much cared for that as a kid.

Now to let all this stuff cool and stock it in the fridge and freezer for a day when I don't feel like cooking. If you aren't going to make the cheese but are up for making the pasta I have some good news, you don't need to boil the pasta first. I cranked it out to a "4" on the pasta machine thickness and just layered it in raw. There is enough moisture and heat in the sauce to cook it all the way as it bakes in the oven. Depending on how long it takes you to boil water it may even be faster to make the pasta from scratch than it is to boil the water and cook premade pasta noodles. Another perk is that you can have unbroken sheets of pasta instead of having to jigsaw puzzle the normal noodles in the layers.

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