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Fresh Pasta sheets for Lasagna

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Coribdx Dec 27, 2012 04:35 PM

Do I have to boil the pasta, or can I layer them in uncooked. Going to freeze and cook the lasagna in a few days. (RV trip)

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  1. roxlet RE: Coribdx Dec 27, 2012 04:48 PM

    Layer them uncooked. The moisture in the other ingredients will make them soft and perfectly toothsome after the lasagna is cooked.

    1. JoanN RE: Coribdx Dec 27, 2012 04:52 PM

      Some do, some don't. I'm in the do camp because Marcella Hazan says so and I believe anything Marcella says.

      She says to cook 4 or 5 strips at a time in lightly salted water for just seconds after the water returns to a boil. Scoop out the pasta, plunge the strips into cold water, and rinse them one at a time under cold running water. Squeeze each strip dry very gently and spread it on a towel to dry.

      Many people feel this is more of a megillah than necessary, but I've always done it, whether I'm going to freeze the lasagne before cooking or not, and I think it makes the best lasagna possible.

      2 Replies
      1. re: JoanN
        Chocolatechipkt RE: JoanN Dec 28, 2012 07:24 AM

        That's what I do, too--and also because Marcella says to.

        1. re: JoanN
          roxlet RE: JoanN Dec 28, 2012 09:02 AM

          I have made dozens and dozens of lasagnas without pre-cooking fresh pasta for more years than I would like to count, and long before Marcella came into my life. I have made them and froze them and I have made them and refrigerated and then cooked. She can say what she will, but I wouldn't ever change it since I find the results to be perfect. Fresh pasta is very easy to overcook and turn into mush, so I would never pre-cook it despite what she says! And homemade fresh pasta is even more delicate!

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          escondido123 RE: Coribdx Dec 27, 2012 05:18 PM

          I have done it both ways, and find the texture when they are uncooked to be slightly gummy, noticeable enough that I always cook them, but just for a minute.

          1. c
            Coribdx RE: Coribdx Dec 27, 2012 07:22 PM

            Thank you very much... I chose to go uncooked but very saucy.. we shall see..

            2 Replies
            1. re: Coribdx
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              escondido123 RE: Coribdx Dec 27, 2012 08:09 PM

              They will be thoroughly cooked; the texture may just be off a bit.

              1. re: Coribdx
                roxlet RE: Coribdx Dec 28, 2012 09:03 AM

                I think you will find it to be perfect, particularly with a saucy lasagna!

              2. RetiredChef RE: Coribdx Dec 28, 2012 11:49 AM

                I find pre-cooked pasta to come out to mushy - I like the firmer more al dente texture that uncooked gives you. But I also use very thin lasagna sheets when I make mine.

                1. t
                  treb RE: Coribdx Dec 28, 2012 11:50 AM

                  no need to cook the sheets. I'd refergerate in istead of freezing.

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                    shmee RE: Coribdx Dec 28, 2012 11:35 PM

                    As pasta makers, it is our professional experience that it is better to par boil the pasta sheets in water for 30-40 seconds and then leave them in cold water for about 15 minutes as one prepares the other ingredients before you dry them and layer them....
                    During the boiling, the egg in the pasta will set and firm up the sheets. The leaving them in cold water will saturate the pasta so that it has enough moisture. This will help your pasta not dry up during the 40 - 50 minute cooking time and you do not have to add any additional sauce...

                    Making lasagna without par boiling the sheets can make the egg pasta soggy and gummy because it will try to absorb the sauce and unless one over sauces the lasagna it will require more sauce during the cooking process.
                    .

                    1. t
                      tastesgoodwhatisit RE: Coribdx Dec 29, 2012 02:25 AM

                      I find it depends on the sauce. I use a bolognese sauce which isn't very juicy, so I need to boil briefly (a la Marcella Hazan) or the lasagna ends up much too dry.

                      For a more liquid tomato sauce, you could probably get by without.

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