A Lasagne Winter
  • Have a great lasagna recipe? My kids had no memory of me ever cooking a lasagna for them, so I promised a lasagne a month, all winter long. Of course, my son immediately said that this year winter will never end.

    Anyhow, I have prepared two lasagna recipes, and been generally disappointed. I also find that the noodles do not fit my pan if I follow the instructions. So I ask you, fellow cookbookers, any lasagna advice or suggestions?
  • I don't have a suggestion for a recipe off hand but what size pan do you use? I use a Pyrex 9x13 pan and standard size lasagna noodles fit just fine in it.
  • Here's a Martha Rose Shulman lasagna recipe -- very healthy and very delicious--I just realized I never reviewed it. It calls for no-bake lasagna noodles. I'm such a purist that I can't believe I'm saying this--but the no-bake lasagna noodles are great. You just need to soak them in really hot water while you prep the rest of the lasagna. I don't know why that isn't in the instructions--it makes such a difference.

  • What are 'no-bake' lasagna noodles? I can't imagine that you wouldn't bake them, because how would you then assemble a lasagna. Does it mean you don't have to cook them before baking? Because I never do that and I didn't know that there might be lasagna noodles where you need to do that.

    A while ago I made a Roasted Vegetable Lasagna which was very nice: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/10603/roasted-vegetable-lasagne (plus review). If the lasagna sheets don't fit, I just break them in pieces and try to cover everything more or less - you won't be able to see later on anyway.
  • yes--you don't have to cook them before putting the lasagna together and baking it--so really no-bake is an inaccurate name. Prior to these, lasagna noodles were par-boiled first (unless you were using fresh pasta).
    The Roasted Vegetable Lasagna sounds lovely.
  • I use the "no-cook" approach with all lasagna noodles, not just the special ones you can buy, and it seems to work fine. If there seems to be a shortage of sauce, I might pour about 1/4cup of water around the edges before covering and baking.
  • I used to use the 'no cook' method and noodles all the time, but lately have been cooking all of mine because we switched to whole wheat noodles and they do need a bit extra.

    I've made vegetarian variations on Mark Bittman's lasagna from How to Cook Everything and they were pretty good. I'm planning on a full classic Bolognese version this winter, using his Bolognese recipe, which is excellent, so I'll review that when I do it. I found both recipes blogged here: http://www.pantiesinapinch.com/?p=146
  • So many good suggestions!

    I've been sticking with whole wheat, and boiling the noodles, as Andrew says. In the past, I used the white ones - no boil or regular - without cooking and with some success.

    @Beth - I bet I've been using my 8 1/2 X 11 - that would explain the non-fitting noodles!
    Those vegetable ones sound excellent - Shullman's, Bittman's, and that roasted vegetable one claims only 25 minute prep time! Thanks so much.
  • Sure, 25 min if you have at least three cooks... :) I wouldn't rely on that, I think it took us somewhat longer..
  • For me, lasagna prep is typically 4 hrs, definitely a Sunday afternoon type of thing.

    I looked at Bittman's how to cook everything vegetarian, and am intrigued by a pesto lasagna (I have a lot of frozen pesto that we need to consume).
  • I don't think what I do will help anybody much. Only that I want to assure Queezlesister that there's nothing to it!

    I used to use instant lasagna sheets, but nowadays I buy fresh pasta sheets from the pasta place at South Melbourne Market, which you just use as is, though I have to trim them to fit the pan. I make it up with spag bol sauce made to Stephanie Alexander's recipe (usually have some in the freezer) and cheese sauce which is no trouble to make, though putting mozzarella in it makes it a bit hard to spread.

    It really takes no time to assemble if you've already got the sauce (which on the other hand is a Saturday afternoon job), and wants about 35 minutes in the oven. Easy peasy, as the jubbly boy would say!

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