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Homemade lasagna noodles?

I'm thinking of making lasagna with homemade noodles.

A) do you have any particularly good recipes you've tried for noodles?

B) do I cook the noodles before assembling the lasagna? I've read in some places that you should, and in others that it's unnecessary with homemade noodles.

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  1. I use sheets of fresh pasta always. I haven't used dried pasta in many years. Sometimes I buy sheets from the deli, sometimes I roll my own. Do not pre-cook the pasta. Use whatever pasta recipe you like.

    The great advantage of using homemade fresh pasta -- as opposed to buying sheets of fresh pasta -- is that you can roll it out thinner than what you buy in the store, and therefore construct more, thinner, delicate layers. Depending on what you want to assemble into your lasagna, you can then segregate different elements into separate layers.

    1 Reply
    1. I have used freshly-made pasta in my lasagna without boiling the noodles first and had great success that way. I did a little internet research (before I was a CH) and had trouble finding out whether I should boil or not, so I totally understand why you're asking here!

      I don't have a recipe... after watching my Mom make great lasagna for eyars, I usually wing it with whatever combo of sauce I have made and whatever cheese I happen to have on hand. (Italian Grandmas may shudder at this). Hubster likes "white" lasgana, college kid likes whatever is home-cooked, and I'm also trying to sneak veggies in wherever I can for the kidlet (age 6), so I've found that lasagna is a good canvas for experimentation. Any time I've made it with the freshly-made noodles, it's been a hit, partially because the older son and the hubby know that the noodles are fresh. Whether that makes it taste better, I can't be sure, but since they think it's better after watching me roll out and cut the pasta, I'm cool with that. I should invest in that tool that makes the pretty edges.

      As far as recipes, after someone has offered you a good traditional one, it might be fun to try this one from Anne Burrell:
      I suggest it only because I've NEVER had a bad result with anything by Anne Burrell, so this might be a fun way to experiment with your fresh pasta.

      3 Replies
      1. re: CapreseStacy

        Well, I have a lasagna recipe I want to try. ;) Namely because the 6 year old in MY household (roomie's son) needs more veggies in his diet, and it has sliced and roasted veggies layered in. I'm just looking for a pasta recipe, since I've never made pasta before! I'm excited to try. I've been handmaking a lot of things lately. (Baguettes, mayo, mustard, BBQ sauce, pickles, jam, etc). It's been a lot of fun! ;)

        1. re: ltdead

          Please share baguette recipe! That's one that I've been wanting to give a go!

          1. re: CapreseStacy

            I've used this recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/French-B...
            But to make baguettes, I divide the dough in fourths, and bake them for a shorter time. It's also said if you throw in a few icecubes into the oven that the steam makes the crust extra crispy.

            I'm thinking of trying this recipe instead, tomorrow, though. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/French-B...
            I was originally detered because the instructions are for a bread machine, which I don't have, but I've done more bread making now and trust I know how to make it right. ;)

      2. I use a basic egg noodle recipe. I let the noodles dry for about an hour before cooking, and then blanch them very briefly in boiling water (about 30 seconds), rinse in cold water and drain before assembling the pasta. I find this give a nice tender pasta without sucking up too much of the moisture in the sauce.

        Try this with a classic bolognese sauce (Marcella Hazan's recipe), layered with a simple bechamel and freshly grated parmesan. Mmmmm.....

          1. Just did this on Saturday using my Marcato Atlas 150 pasta machine - hand crank similar to the popular Imperia machine. I used roller setting #5 for the pasta sheets which were cut to fit the lasagna pan wihout overlap. The pasta sheets were dried for about 30 min or so and not pre-cooked or blanched. I start with a cup of 00 flour, a couple of room temp large eggs and a bit of olive oil. Additional flour is added during kneading to obtain the right look and feel.

            1. i've done it both ways and vry much prefer the cooked noodles in the final result. Here is the recipe I use

              Jfood Pasta Dough

              2.5 cups flour
              1 cup semolina flour
              6 Large eggs
              A few drops of water

              Place the first three ingredients into food processor and process until almost combined
              Dump onto your board and knead until thoroughly blended
              Shape the dough into a box shape and place in a bowl with a little flour on the bottom and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
              Remove from fridge and cut into 8 sections as needed
              Allow the dough to come to room temperature for 30 minutes
              Process through the largest slot of the pasta machine. If it separates, fold in half and continue to process. Continue until the pasta is processed through the next to thinnest thickness.

              8 Replies
              1. re: jfood

                I've only ever wrapped pretty tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated. What does your method do? I'm SO in the mood for her lasagne :)

                1. re: c oliver

                  With all deference to jfood, I can't imagine making pasta dough in a food processor. Make a mound of flour on your work surface, make a well in the center, add egg yolks, gradually incorporate with your hand. Too dry? Add more egg. Too wet? Add more flour. Put a towel over it to let the dough rest for 15 minutes or so.

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    Well, honeybunny :), defer to me too. I use the FP also. I think my goddess Marcella even (grudgingly) allows it :)

                    1. re: c oliver

                      But then you have to clean the gluey machine. I'd rather just wash my hands.

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        I have weak hands and somewhat a lack of coordination :) So I've done the well method but I didn't feel like I'd incorporated the ingredients as well I should have. And I "let" the FP knead for me also. The "gluey machine" (like that) just gets plopped into the sink, filled with water and sits til I'm ready to deal with it.

                        1. re: pikawicca

                          i actually do both, starting in the processor until blended and then dump on a board to knead by hand..

                          making lasagne is a bit messy so a little more does not bother me all that much.

                        2. re: c oliver

                          Curious where you've seen Hazan give the nod to using a FP. I only have two of her books (Essentials and Kitchen) and in both she very specifically says not to combine flour and eggs in a bowl because you never know just how much flour you're going to need.

                          I guess I never saw the need to use a FP since the well method works, shall we say, so well for me. Using the FP would just make something complicated out of something so simple. Chacun, eh?

                          1. re: JoanN

                            Ya know, after posting that, I wondered if she really did say that :) I'm not at home til tomorrow so will have to check and see if maybe Batali said it. Or maybe it was "just" jfood who carries a lot of weight with me. Up til maybe a year ago, if you suggested that I would make pasta, I'd have laughed at you, so I'm still just feeling my way along. With great teachers like yourself.