I rarely make Lasagna. In the past I used dry noodles that I cooked before assembly, but my main complaint is I find the pasta too thick.
So this time I’m gonna use fresh so I can control the thickness. My favorite sheet pasta for ravioli is:
150g AP flour
3g kosher salt
2 eggs, and equal parts EVOO and water to get to 124g
I like the added texture the semolina contributes, and I add salt 'cause it cooks so fast it doesn’t get a lot of salt from the water.
So the big question is… do you cook it before assembly? Or let the sauce do it?
I wouldn’t cook it, personally. I’m lazy and use no-boil noodles myself, but with the risk of tearing, etc. I’d just use it uncooked.
I’ve never used “no boil” pasta sheets. Have you used fresh pasta with a no boil method?
Not in lasagna. But given how quickly fresh cooks, and the fact that it won’t change the water content of your sauce much anyway, I’d still say not to cook. Del posto’s lasagna in NYC (RIP) used fresh pasta but only blanched the sheets for a second. Is there a specific concern with not pre or par cooking?
On a half sheet pan I ladle the sauce and dip each pasta sheet in the sauce as I build the lasagna layers. Saturating the indiv sheets assists the cooking beyond the layering process alone.
I’ve been cooking a lot of lasagna for others recently as part of a charitable organization. I never cook the noodles in advance. And I don’t buy any that are labeled - no boil or no cook. I just add a little extra liquid in the bottom of the pan and around the sides. There is enough moisture in the sauce and fresh cheese to cook the noodles, and they are never soggy using this method.
I do the same. I can’t be bothered to cook the noodles in advance.
That’s the one. And it’s not that I can’t be bothered, but it is an unnecessary step, so why take the time? I also prefer my noodles firmer. I don’t like soggy pasta anymore than soggy bread.
Not really other than convenience (which should not be taken if it interferes with the end result). I have seen so many methods ranging from raw, blanched - followed by an ice water bath, to (and this sounds best to me) cooked for a minute or two and laid in a sheetpan drizzled with EVOO.
I just wanted to hear from folks here that do this with homemade egg pasta, and how they do it (as opposed to theories). The consensus I am seeing is that with fresh egg pasta (not dried) cooking is necessary to “firm it up”.
BTW… I prefer a looser, fresher tasting red sauce on my lasagna (as opposed to a three hour Bolognese), and a parmesan Bechamel instead of ricotta… which may or may not make a difference here, but from what I’ve read so far seems to indicate it does not, and it should be blanched/cooked prior to assembly.
Just don’t want to “F” this up on my first try with fresh pasta. Ideally it should be way better (thinner, more layers), not worse.
I used a purchased fresh pasta lasagna sheets to make lasagna yesterday, and it wasn’t necessary to boil in advance. I did use more sauce to allow it to absorb more liquid, like dried no bake lasagna noodles. Turned out great. I much prefer the fresh lasagna sheets to the boiled from dry lasagna noodles.
The instructions on the fresh pasta’s package recommended baking the lasagna for 35 minutes covered, then an additional 5 to 10 minutes covered. The sheets were half as thick as typical boiled lasagna noodles. Thickness of fresh lasagna sheets could vary.
I cook fresh pasta before assembling lasagna. IMO fresh egg pasta doesn’t cook properly in a casserole and the finished product ends up dry and gummy, especially if you’re making a true lasagne alla Bolognese with it (as opposed to American style lasagna, which tends to be saucier). If you are going to the trouble of making your own pasta, it is well worth the pre-cooking step to ensure optimal results.
FYI, I usually roll pasta to a 6 or 7 on my Kitchenaid attachment for lasagne.
I just noticed this follow up, but I still recommend pre-cooking your fresh lasagne before assembly. You are correct that cooking fresh pasta helps firm it up (no doubt because of the egg proteins). It will still absorb plenty of sauce without becoming soggy.
Same. I never tried not cooking the noodles - I just assumed the result would be better if the noodles were cooked. I make eggplant or spinach (or both) lasagna.
Sheets of fresh pasta off your typical atlas or kitchen aid attachment are perfect for a 8.5 x 11 baking dish.
I signed up with them a while back but never heard from them. Maybe I’ll try again.
Never had any acknowledgement or haven’t gotten matched yet? It took me a while to get matched. I actually had to market/advertise the program in my local area in order to get anyone signed up to receive food.!
Never had an acknowledgement but to be honest it was in early 2020 and things may have changed since then. I know several people who tried back then and it may have been overwhelming.
I have more time now so should probably reach out again. Thanks for the reminder.
Just for grins and giggles I did one that was half and half… one side cooked noodles (cooked just until color paled - about 1-2 minutes - and then rested on a cold cooking sheet coated in EVOO) and the other side with uncooked.
Everything else was the same, baked in a Pyrex casserole dish covered in foil for about 25 min, and then with foil removed for another 10-20 until browned and bubbly.
To be honest, this wasn’t a completely fair test as I did not coat the uncooked pasta with EVOO, but the texture and flavor of the cooked pasta side was quite a bit better.
Next time I’m gonna cook some garlic and a piece of shallot in the EVOO with a pinch of salt, throw it into the Vitamix with some parm and use that on cooking sheet I rest the cooked pasta on. Guessing this might be next level.
I absolutely love this kind of follow-up, thanks so much for posting. Now we know…