Mac’n’Cheese Lasagna

How do you reinvent mac’n’cheese?  Make it lasagna style with a couple of flavor twists.  We’re breaking out numerous Ankarsrum attachments for this pasta and cheese filled dish.  Fresh tomato flavored pasta made with the lasagna attachment gets layered with a velvety cheese sauce (hello grater attachment) and parsley and garlic flavored fresh breadcrumbs (thanks blender attachment).

From AnkarsrumUSA recipe developer, Carmi Adams:

As with most lasagnas or casseroles, this dish has several components, so let’s break them down one by one.  First up, the pasta dough.  This one relies on tomato powder for flavor and color.  Tomato powder is essentially dehydrated, ground up tomatoes.  Be sure to purchase one without salt in it, just tomatoes.  A quick online search gives you several options.  I liked this one:

One ingredient: tomato powder, that’s all you need.

 

The tomato powder gets blended in with the wet ingredients in the beginning to make sure it is incorporated throughout the dough.

Be patient when adding the flour and waiting for it to mix in. If it seems a little dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time. Different brands of pasta/semolina flour absorb water differently.

 

The pasta dough will rest for about 30 minutes before being rolled out (which is a great time to make up the cheese sauce and breadcrumbs).  When the dough is ready to roll out, set up a station for yourself which includes a clean work surface, extra flour and a sharp knife for cutting the lasagna sheets into a size that will fit the baking pan.

 

Cut the dough into 4 portions, cover the others until ready to work with. Flatten out and generously dust with flour. Start on the widest setting and run through twice. Go down one setting, run the dough through twice again, dusting with extra flour if necessary. Repeat until desired setting. (I like to take it down to 4 for lasagna noodles).

 

For the cheese sauce, I use a mixture of cheeses: Gruyere for nuttiness, Fontina for meltiness and sharp Cheddar for general deliciousness.  You can use whatever combo of cheeses you want, just make sure that you don’t use a lot of a really hard cheese like parmesan or a really stringy cheese such as mozzarella; these don’t make for smooth cheese sauces.

Let the grater attachment do the work for you.
Since the lasagna noodles are essentially cooking in the cheese sauce, I made it slightly thinner than I normally would a cheese sauce. This lets the noodles soak up the liquid and still leaves plenty of cheesy sauce between the layers.

 

Once the sauce is made, set it aside to cool slightly and move on to the breadcrumbs.  The recipe calls for sourdough bread, and it can be store-bought, homemade, whole wheat or gluten free.

Using toasted bread instead of store-bought breadcrumbs (which are VERY dry) allows the breadcrumb layer to soak up some of the cheese sauce and expand into an actual creamy bread layer. How much black pepper you use is purely up to you. The fresh parsley adds a nice herbaceous balance to all the richness.  No need to add salt, there is plenty of it from all the cheese in this dish.
Blitz the ingredients together in two batches in the blender, small little chunks of bread here and there is desirable.

 

You will have a tiny bit of pasta leftover after cutting all the sheets into sizes to fit the baking pan.  Cut into strips, toss generously with flour and store in the fridge for 1-2 days.

Midnight snack anyone?

 

When it comes to assembling the lasagna, start with a little cheese sauce on the bottom of the pan, then pasta, breadcrumbs, more cheese.  Repeat for a total of 6 pasta layers.  Instead of sprinkling the breadcrumbs on top of the final layer of pasta, first pour over the remaining cheese sauce, and then top with breadcrumbs and some shredded mozzarella.

This dish is very rich and filling and easily feeds 8 people.

 

Once the lasagna has baked, let it cool for about 15 minutes before cutting into, otherwise it is piping hot!!  Please let us know if you have any questions or comments about this recipe.  Enjoy!

 

Mac’n’Cheese Lasagna

 

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

 

Pasta Dough:

1 large egg, room temperature

1 large egg yolk, room temperature

90 g. (6 Tbsp.) water

1.5 g. (1/4 tsp.) kosher salt

1 g. (2 tsp.) tomato powder

333 g. (1 3/4 cup) semolina pasta flour, plus extra for dusting

Cheese Sauce:

170 g. (6 oz. / 1 1/2 cups shredded) Gruyere cheese

170 g. (6 oz. / 1 1/2 cups shredded) Fontina cheese

340 g. (12 oz. / 3 cups shredded) sharp cheddar cheese

43 g. (3 Tbsp.) unsalted butter

22 g. (3 Tbsp.) all purpose flour

984 g. (4 cups) whole milk

Breadcrumbs:

3 large cloves garlic, peeled

14 g. (1 Tbsp.) olive oil

20 g. (1 1/2 cups loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley

4 slices sourdough bread, toasted

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Topping:

56 g. (2 oz. / 1/2 cup shredded) mozzarella

 

For the pasta dough:

Set up the Ankarsrum mixer with the stainless steel bowl and the roller/scraper.  Add in the egg, egg yolk, water, salt and tomato powder.  Blend on high speed (6 o’clock) until tomato powder is incorporated into mixture.

Reduce speed to medium low (2 o’clock) and gradually add in flour.  Let mixer work in flour for about 1 minute, and if still very crumbly, add 1 tsp. water at a time until dough comes together.  Lock arm 1/2 inch away from side of bowl and knead dough for 4 minutes.  Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.  Can be made a day in advance and stored in refrigerator until ready to use.

While dough is resting, start on cheese sauce.

For cheese sauce:

Set up the Ankarsrum mixer with the slicer/grater attachment and regular sized grater drum.  Place a large bowl underneath.  Turn speed on medium high (4 o’clock).  Cut the cheese into sections that will fit through the attachment and use the plunger to push the cheese through.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add in the flour and whisk constantly for 2 minutes.  Slowly add in the milk, whisking constantly.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes until mixture is just beginning to thicken, whisking occasionally.  Add in the shredded cheese, reduce heat to medium low and whisk until cheese is melted and completely incorporated into sauce.  Remove from heat and let cool while preparing breadcrumbs.

For breadcrumbs:

Place the garlic and oil in the bottom of the blender attachment.  Add in half the parsley and coarsely tear up two pieces of the toast and add on top of the parsley.  Place blender on the Ankarsrum mixer base and pulse mixture together on the highest speed until breadcrumbs are achieved.  Empty out into a medium bowl and add in remaining parsley and tear up and add remaining toast.  Pulse together and then add to other breadcrumbs.  Can be made a day in advance: put in a covered container and store in the fridge.

To assemble:

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Have a 8x8x3 inch baking pan ready.

Set up the Ankarsrum mixer base with the lasagna attachment.  Divide pasta dough into 4 pieces.  Work with one piece at a time and cover remaining portions until ready to use.  Set the lasagna roller on the widest setting, 0.  Flatten out the portion of dough and sprinkle with flour.  Run through attachment on medium speed (3 o’clock).  Fold in half and run through again.  Adjust width down to next setting, 1, and run dough through, then run through again, dusting with extra flour as necessary.  Repeat process until dough has been run through settings 0-4, two times each.  Repeat with remaining portions of dough.  Use a sharp knife to trim sheets into sections that will fit size of baking dish.

Add about 1/2 cup of cheese sauce to bottom of baking pan.  Add a layer of noodles and about 1/6 of breadcrumbs.  Add another 1/2 – 3/4 cup cheese sauce to cover bread crumbs, then another layer of pasta.  Repeat until 6 layers of pasta have been used.  Do not put breadcrumbs on the final layer.  Instead, pour over remaining cheese, and then top with breadcrumbs.  Sprinkle mozzarella on top of breadcrumbs.  Bake for 45 minutes until cheese on top is beginning to brown and cheese sauce is bubbling around the edges.

Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting into.

 

Yield: 6-8 servings

Cooks Note: If a whole grain lasagna is desired, the semolina flour in the pasta dough can be replaced with whole grain semolina flour.  If milling at home, durum wheat is recommended for pasta.  The flour in the cheese sauce and the sourdough bread in the breadcrumbs can also be replaced with whole wheat flour and whole wheat sourdough bread.

 

 

 

Published by

Carmi Adams

Carmi Adams has loved cooking from a very early age; requesting fondue pots and cookbooks for birthdays as a child. She further pursued her passion for food at the Art Institute of Atlanta and obtained a degree in Culinary Arts. Carmi landed a job on the show Good Eats, which aired on the Food Network. For seven years she did everything from food research, recipe development and testing, product testing to feeding a hungry film crew. Now living in the central coast of California, Carmi enjoys the bounty of agriculture, vineyards and farmers markets at her culinary disposal. She has been using the Ankarsrum mixer for over 15 years and feels that it is hands-down the best on the market for home cooks.