Paper-thin lasagna noodles layered with besciamella, ragu Bolognese and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
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I served this lasagne ( prepared with parboiling the noodles) to 10 people today for lunch. I also made a smaller one where I added the noodles uncooked. (They had previously been frozen for 2 weeks between sheets of parchment.) Four of my guests had seconds from the uncooked noodles. All agreed that, although still an excellent lasagne, that the first was better. Comments were that the uncooked noodles had a bit of a "gummier" taste. Perhaps it might have made a difference if the second pan's noodles had not been previously frozen but the noodles thawed out beautifully when layered. I was hoping that there would be no discernible difference in not boiling the noodles because ,frankly, that is the most tedious part of the process for me. Since this is a labor intensive recipe anyway, I will continue to boil the noodles first. As another very Italian blog put it - "The noodles are never meant to soak up the sauce" - I have to agree. By the way, I served this knowing that 2 people were confirmed lasagne haters. But they no longer are:) Everyone raved about the taste and the delicacy of the thin layers.
until December 26th 2010 i had never made lasagne before, when ever i was in the mood for lasagne i would beg my husband to make it.
on the the date mentioned above i decided to make it my self and ofcourse it needed to be better than my husband's
i had to make some adjustment to to suit what i had available at the time. i used store bought lasagna shells, and used only ground beef, and did not use the bechamel sauce instead i used tomato sauce. i was concerned about the end results but in the end it all worked out for the best.
my kids and my husband rated my lasagne better than his.
it was truly delicious
one day soon i will try the recipe as is and i am sure it will be great.
This recipe sounded real good, so I chose it to practice making a bechamel, for the first time. Wow, what an adventure. This was my second time making pasta, so I was confident, but not experienced. I started a little early at 11:00 am, because I had a few things to do in the afternoon. We had some friends over and - after cooking non-stop for 9 1/2 hours - we sat down to eat at 8:30! Those things I needed to get done never happened, but thank god I started early. I ran into my first difficulty when I started cutting the pasta and I was supposed to "cover the sheets with damp cloth". Well, I had over seventy 5 X 5 sheets! That is a lot of cloths, not to mention space to lay them out. I decided to take an idea from the freezing method and layer them 6 at a time with parchment instead. It worked. The top layer dried out too much, but the rest were fine. Ran into the same problem again after boiling. I ended up using bath towels and covered my dining room table and every available inch of counter space. Lots of running back and forth from the ice bath. My other difficulty came when I made the bechamel. I had my heat set at 3 but the bechamel turned light golden brown - peanut colored - almost immediately, certainly not 6 - 7 minutes. Luckily I heated the milk first, so I turned the heat down even more and started adding the warm milk. It seemed to turn out OK, tasted good, but as I said it was my first bechamel, so I am not sure. In the end my starving guests raved about how good the lasagne was. I thought so too, but for me - to be honest - I was so damned tired I was mostly relieved.
Definately planning to make this recipe but unfortunately we just sold our pasta roller machine and as we are moving overseas shortly. I did not want to buy another one unitil we have moved.
So my questions are:
1 Is there a preference towards fresh or dry pasta?
2 Should dry pasta be boiled before use? The packets we have do not say anything about this but my wife has always placed the lasagne sheets dry in the past and I reckon they always end up being a bit chewy - but very delicious :).
3 When we eventually buy a new pasta roller would the Rouxbe staff be able to reccomend a good brand and whether manual or electric is prefered.
In this recipe fresh pasta is better as it is thinner and more delicate. As for whether or not to boil the dried noodles, I would say yes do boil them. You may also want to read the comment above regarding "to boil or not to boil".
And as for a pasta machine. Here is another thread that asks and answers this same question. Cheers!
I don't have a pasta maker and live in a rural area and don't have access to an Italian shop. I wanted to attempt this recipe. Here goes the terrible question. Can I use a few sheets of phyllo dough to get the thin noodles. I know, Middle Eastern not Italian and Italian's are probably ready to beat me.
Just know that anyone is free to try anything they like in the kitchen. Would I use phyllo instead of thin layers of pasta noodles for this lasagne, probably not. And if for some reason I did, I would certainly not call it lasagne. Just know that if you do make this dish with phyllo you will end up with very different results. Which by the way, might still be very good but the dish with be totally different. Hope this helps. Cheers!
So, we are having friends over for dinner on Saturday night and I would love to put this lasagna together on Friday and just refrigerate it until it's time to pop it in the oven. I've already made my pasta; the squares are in the freezer waiting to be boiled. What is the consensus regarding overnighting the whole thing in the fridge, completely put together but not yet baked? I've never held onto besciamella and I'm concerned about its "shelf life."
When it comes to making bechamel, you are free to make as much as you like (see the lesson on How to Make Bechamel for more information). If however, you are asking if you could add double the amount of bechamel that you are adding to the recipe, we do not recommend that as it would likely make the lasagna too wet and hard to slice etc. Cheers!
Well, I was forewarned with the above comments about 9 hour prep times and needing lots of surfaces and towels!
So far it took 5 hours to assemble and luckily my mother and her giant kitchen (relative to my NYC apartment!) with many surfaces and clean tea towels were available to help.
My only concerns so far are that I assembled it in a 9 x 13 inch pan, using all the cheese, ragu and bechamel, but leaving SO MUCH pasta!! I think maybe I made the meat layers too thick...confession- I only watched the dough parts of the video and then got too immersed in the process!
Will report back to describe results. And I might be asking Santa for a motorized pasta roller attachment- I have a very tired arm!:)
Good luck Gail. Sounds like you at least had fun doing it. If my memory is correct, I also seem to recall having leftover pasta dough, so don't worry too much. I still remember how I felt and how good this pasta tasted the first time I made it. Enjoy! Or should I say, Buon Appetito!!
By the way, I have the motorized pasta roller and it is a dream for things like this.
I made the lasagna about 5 times now, it gets easyer and faster all the time, especially that i have learned some shortcuts (like cooking the ragu and pasta sheets the day before). I always serve it when i have guests and they all agree - best lasagna ever.
Key ingredients are indeed the thin and many layers, the ragu boild in milk and the nutty besciamella - of which I make more, and save 2 cups for the covering. Also, I only use veal but I put some more pancetta.
The trouble is that I wish to serve it for a fancy dinner and I can not seem to pair it with anything WORTHY of it. Can you suggest something for an appetiser, soup and a side salad (a dessert if I am not asking too much), something that would be as festive and delicate as this? For example, I would serve a carpaccio but i don't want to repeat the beef. I would serve a consomme with a raviollo but that is again too much pasta for one night.... and so on.