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Thousand Layer Lasagna - Tips?

One of my best friends loves lasagna and his birthday is tomorrow, so I thought I'd make him some. But not just any lasagna, something spectacular. So I found this one and am going to attempt it.

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

My questions:

1. I'm planning on using egg roll wrappers and possible rolling a little bit thinner - anyone have any experience substituting them for fresh lasagna noodles?

2. Thoughts on adding spinach and sausage? I like smitten kitchen's addition of spinach, but am trying to figure out how to add a little sausage without making the layers too thick.

http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/01/bak...

3. Any other tips would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

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    1. I don't have any experience with the egg roll wrappers, sorry can't help you there.

      I add sausage two ways, either way will work. I first remove the cooked sausage from the casing. And I also use the spicy Italian sausage, for me, a little goes a long way.

      I either add a little sauce to the sausage and put it in the middle layer of the lasagna, or I toss the loose sausage meat into the sauce that I am going to use in my lasagna.
      The second way, you wouldn't notice any extra thickness at all to the lasagna.

      1. If you want to make really good lasagne, don't substitute the pasta sheets. Egg roll wrappers don't have the right taste and texture. The 101 cookbook recipe is actually an authentic Italian recipe because is made with few good quality ingredients and a small amount of sauce in between the pasta layers. If you want to add some meat, just make a meat sauce with the crumbled sausages or better with some minced pork.
        See e.g. my pork ragu here
        http://madonnadelpiatto.com/2009/02/1...

        5 Replies
        1. re: madonnadelpiatto

          > The 101 cookbook recipe is actually an authentic Italian recipe because is made with few good quality ingredients and a small amount of sauce in between the pasta layers.>

          Really? Even with the lemon zest? That ingredient rubs me wrong. I think that recipe is missing either bechamel or ricotta. I'd be wary of using so much fresh mozzarella...that stuff can release a lot of water, and depending on the brand, can be kind of flavorless or rubbery when cooked.

          1. re: ChristinaMason

            Fresh mozzarella is neither watery nor rubbery and has a delicious milky flavor. There are many lasagnas in Italy and each area has their own interpretation.
            My friend from Venice thinks that putting ricotta in a lasagna is disgusting. She put peas and god knows what else in hers.
            My favorite is from the Genoa area and consists of many tiny layers of Ham, pesto, Fontina, pasta and cream.
            Lemon flavor is much loved in southern Italy. I have seen it added to ricotta along with nutmeg for stuffed pastas especially with tomato sauce.

            1. re: chefj

              "My favorite is from the Genoa area and consists of many tiny layers of Ham, pesto, Fontina, pasta and cream."

              And mine as well.

              1. re: chefj

                The Genoan lasagna sounds amazing. I can see the lemon in the creamy part, but not the tomato sauce. Just doesn't sound appetizing.

                I've been getting some pretty lame fresh mozzarella here in Berlin (serves me right for buying everyday stuff from the regular supermarket) and last time I used it in a baked polenta dish, it released a ton of water and was pretty flavorless. That's why I acknowledged it "depends on the brand."

                1. re: ChristinaMason

                  You'll b able to hopefully get the good stuff when back here, or come up to NYC, we have great fresh mozzarella here. Something to look forward to.

          2. jfood would take a pass on that recipe, way too much red pepper flakes, OK a little citric acid but zest from an entire lemon? too many other great ways to make pasagne than this one in jfood's opinion.

            1. I want to scream but won't EGGROLL WRAPPERS BEAR NO RESEMBLENCE TO LASAGNE. Please don't do this.

              My favorite lasagne is Hazan's green lasagne. You could substitute storebought noodles if you don't want to make them. I searched quickly and here's something that comes close:

              http://web.me.com/spinachtiger/Spinac...