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Nov 26, 2004 09:56 AM

T'day...What went wrong?

  • s

For my vegetarian guests,I prepared a lasagna using Barillo no-boil lasagna(first time using this). I used four sheets(layers) of the lasagna, put sauce on the bottom of the pan before I began layering, and placed ricotta, parm and mozzarella betweeen layers. I also topped it off with sauce and parmesan and mozzarella on the top. It came out of the oven bubbling and looking gorgeous.HOWEVER,the middle two layers were not cooked. Tasted(and looked) like cardboard. I was so embarrassed when my daughter took me aside to tell me that the lasagna wasn't cooked through. The other vegetarians were very gracious, ate it and said nothing. What went wrong? The only thing I can think of is that I did not put sauce on each layer, and so the noodles were not moistened as they baked? Any thoughts? Thanks

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  1. I call them "Mystery Lasagna" noodles. Making lasagna is a pain, but if you're going to do it.... make legitimate lasagna. That stuff sucks!

    1. Have to agree with Chuck, here. I've tried the "no-boil" method and haven't been happy with the results. The noodles never come out right. And really, it's not that much extra trouble to boil the noodles. Not compared to making the sauce, grating/slicing cheese, and layering the lasagne.

      1. I actually like those no-boil noodles for lasagnas. The texture holds up really well and maintains a nice bite. However, I always soak briefly in hot water to soften-- just a minute or two. I read that recommendation in Cooks Illustrated (?) and think it works well. You can avoid the problem you mentioned that way.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Allison

          Thank you for responding to my question, and offering a useful tip. I will "soak" the noodles in boiling water before layering next time. Thanks again. Sue

        2. I think you hit upon it: there wasn't enough moisture for the center noodles to absorb, especially since all that cheese was basically acting as a sealant. I recently made a vegetarian lasangne using the no-boil noodles -- I put sauce on each layer and it came out fine. What I don't like about the no boil noodles is that when they're hard and dry it's hard to fit them into the pan properly -- with cooked noodles you can "piece" them to fit the way you want. I agree that it's not any harder to use the boiled noodles -- just put them on to cook while you prep the other ingredients.

          1. I used to work in a cafe that made lasagna on a regular basis using no cook noodles. The owner/chef always thought it was imperative to cover the pan very tightly with tin foil. His rationale is that the noodles will steam/simmer in the sauce because all the heat is trapped because under the foil and it also creates a higher pressure environment. I do the same thing at home and have always had tender well cooked noodles.

            I am sure your friends thought the lasagna was fine. After all, Lasagna isn't just about the pasta.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Tracy L.

              Whenever i cook something in sauce, I first put some plastic film ("saran wrap") under the foil to prevent the inevitable acid reaction. Just make sure the edges are covered with the foil so they don't shrink up too much. Then it really steams up good. But I would recommend getting the frozen pasta sheets that are available commercially, I used to make pasta from scratch for lasagna but you really can't tell the difference, and you can cut them to shape with a scissor. And they're extremely inexpensive (like 40 sheets for $15).