Do you prefer Baked Ziti or Lasagna AND WHY?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by spacechef16, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. spacechef16

    spacechef16

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    Baked Ziti and Lasagna have the same ingredients but are handled differently, so I just am curious to see what the preference is....Thoughts?
     
  2. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    I'll take either one, The Baked Ziti would have to be made in Individual boats and baked. The reason is, I see to many times people make it with to many noodles and it's dry, you want it tender, meaty and cheesy. If its made in Ind portion boats you get the real deal and a nice crisp Mozzarella cheese crust on the top. The Lasagna has just about all the same ingredient, just layered, this also has to be layered with the right amount of meat and cheese........ChefBillyB
     
  3. ishbel

    ishbel

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    Haven't a clue what baked Ziti might be.  As for lasagne - I love it!

    I've often wondered - why do we use the final 'e' and Americans an 'a'?
     
  4. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Hm, "baked ziti", is that not Pastitsio?
     
  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    It really comes down to the specific recipe and cook behind the dish.

    But I've probably had fewer poor to bad baked ziti than poor to bad lasagne.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  6. french fries

    french fries

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    Pastitsio usually has bechamel like lasagna, baked ziti doesn't.
     
  7. granny smith

    granny smith

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    I don't use a bechamel for my lasagna and I'm not wild about pastitsio (I don't care for some spice in it, I think). I like baked ziti, but love lasagna.I like it because it's firmer than ziti. I like the texture.
     
  8. french fries

    french fries

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    What a shame! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/frown.gif
     
  9. iceman

    iceman

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    I've never made a lasagna w/ a Béchamel sauce; I don't think I ever will either. The closest I've ever come is an alfredo sauce (and not on lasagna). On top of that, my alfredo would probably be considered bohemian anyway. Béchamel sauce is too French for me. I can't put it on lasagna. 

    To answer the question, lasagna is my choice. I prefer the texture. Baked ziti never really did it for me. I prefer a dish made up the same general way using tortelloni instead, with lots of cheese; ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, romano et al. I also like a heavier meat sauce using finely crumbled sweet and hot sausage. 
     
  10. sparkie

    sparkie

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    I always make lasagna w/ besciamella. Maybe if you did it the Italian way, it won't be too French for you. It is a very tradtitional ingredient, especially if we are talking the Lasagna Verdi popular in Emeliglia Romana(forgive my Ital sp) It's cool if its not your thing, but to imply that bèchamel does not belong cause its "too French" is baseless.
     
  11. iceman

    iceman

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    "Béchamel sauce is too French for me."  That's what's really cool about opinions. We can all have them. Another point ..... Italy is a big place. You can go less than a kilometer away into a different neighborhood and find a dish that you just ate moments before prepared and presented in a completely different way. Would you tell them that they didn't do it the Italian way? I'm curious about that. 

    "According to Larousse Gastronomique, the sauce is named after the "marquis de Béchamel", actually Louis de Béchameil, marquis de Nointel (1630–1703). According to Larousse the sauce is an improvement upon a similar, earlier sauce, known as velouté. Béchameil was a financier who held the honorary post of chief steward to Louis XIV. The sauce under its familiar name first appeared in Le Cuisinier François, (published in 1651), by François Pierre La Varenne (1615–1678), chef de cuisine to Nicolas Chalon du Blé, marquis d'Uxelles. The foundation of French cuisine, the Cuisinier François ran through some thirty editions in seventy-five years."

    I don't know? That sounds pretty French to me. Whether it's used in any Italian cuisine or not does not change it's origin from seeming to me to be really French. But then again, I could be wrong. 
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  12. sparkie

    sparkie

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    Iceman: You are right. I was a lil harsh in the previous post. I really didn't mean to attack your opinion like that. I gave your words too much weight treated them as if you were some culinary master leading us to the light.  I did also let my ego get in the way of good judgment. My family is from San Marino and we are very proud of the way we prepare lasagna.  That does not give us the right to walk around like we are the gold standard for all things lasagna. You are just another dude, like the rest of us sharing your knowledge and opinions, and deserve such respect.

    Of course there are many regional differences in the preparation of food in Italy(and all cultures for that matter). I was trying to make that point with my reference to the lasagna verdi. Also I have to believe that ancient chefs around the world used some version of bechiamel as a base without French influence. It just happens that they get the credit because they are the ones who refined the technique & recipies for this among pretty much everything else we have learned. Course I could be way off, I don't know for sure.

    Spaceman: I hope didn't turn your thread into a discussion on the origins and proper use of bechamel sauce. (although I am very interested in these things) Also I (rudely) made a post here and completely neglected your original topic. So here it goes:

    You can probably guess that I am a lasagna man. As previously stated by iceman, I would agree that it is a matter of texture for me also. I am not a fan of baked pastas.  To often, the noodles overcook & become too soft for my liking. I would prefer a bowl of penne Bolognese cooked al dente to baked ziti. The layering of the noodles in a lasagna makes all the difference. I love feeling my fork breaking through each layer as I cut into it. Then when you put it in you mouth & it just melts away... When properly done it may be my favorite pasta dish.  Also mentioned earlier, a big key is balancing the amount of sauce & fillings to pasta just right. Too dry, or too wet and its not very enjoyable. 
     
  13. chefedb

    chefedb

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    First  What kind of Lasagna, meat, vege, seafood. next what type of ziti  Sicilian style, meat, Bolangnaisse. seafood.  Each is different.

    Pastitcio from what I have done was indeed made with a Bechamel and Feta, Ziti type pasta and other ingredients. and we used to make it  for Greek Functions.. Baked Ziti as far as I know has no Bechamel. If  we made a la Bolangaisse style (towards Northern Italy)  it was finished with Heavy Cream. In any case they are all good. And everyone has their own favorite..
     
  14. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Whoa whoa, bechamel is only used in french cooking?  This is news to me.  My family in greece has been putting bechamel in their dishes for generations, I grew up thinking it was greek. 

    There are different kinds of lasagna.  Personally I prefer the bechamel bolognese style, the other stuff with the marinara and ricotta cheese reminds me of bad italian restaurants.  From what I understand lasagna is regional as is all italian cooking.  One's one preference is always valid but saying bechamel is too french for an italian dish is so silly.  In fact just recently I found out that people in Italy don't know what spaghetti and meatballs are, apprarently that's an american dish.  But let's not get into the whole authenticity game because that only leads to trouble.  The truth is most people think of lasagna as the red sauce with white cheese stuff, and very few know that there are other (better) versions of it.
     
    Nope not even close.  Pastitsio is traditionally made with a very large bucatini. I have seen some greeks makes it with ziti but only because large bucatini is difficult to find and I indeed have only found it in greek specialty stores.


    Ding ding ding you just hit on a greek's biggest pet peeve.  No, pastitsio is NOT made with feta, I know of no regional versions that make it with feta cheese and if they do none of them are authentic.  Pastitsio is made with bucatini pasta, a bolognese-style sauce, and topped with real bechamel.  Furthermore, putting feta cheese (or olives) in a dish does not miraculously make it greek as so many seem to believe.
     
     
  15. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    bechamel is a name. As with most of cooking, the names are French. It doesn't describe the origin or history of the sauce in any way.
     
  16. granny smith

    granny smith

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    I've tried lasagna with a bechamel, but prefer it with just cheese. Oddly, I like pizza with a bechamel. Go figure.
     
  17. french fries

    french fries

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    Granny Smith: LOL!! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
     
  18. panini

    panini

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    I think it has to be the dish that is better the next day. lasagna :>D

    We need to narrow it down to American/Italian dishes.

    pan
     
  19. siduri

    siduri

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    Well, Larousse after all was French!  Do you suppose he would say it originated in Greece?  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif

    Anyway, I'm sure there is a tiny town somewhere in italy where lasagne is made with ricotta, but i've never seen it here, it;s always with besciamella or balsamella - two italian words for bechamel. 

    One thing to keep in mind (oh no, here it comes again) when  Caterina de Medici was sent to marry the king of france and had to go live with those barbarians (as she considered the French) back in the fifteen hundreds, she brought her Tuscan chef with her who introduced the refined cuisine of renaissance Tuscany to the court of france which then became the basis of much of French cooking. Anyway, for whatever reason, besciamella or balsamella is now an italian ingredient too, perhaps brought back to italy by the Bourbons.  That's the nice thing about words and food - they pass around from country to country - and like culture, if it's too inbred, it gets dull and provincial and uninteresting. 

    Anyway, as to the question, I don;t much like either - if i'm going to have pasta, i really like a very fresh simple tomato sauce with really good tomatoes, and freshly cooked pasta.  The only baked pasta dish i enjoy is macaroni and cheese.  Homemade, with a base of... bechamel. 
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  20. ishbel

    ishbel

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    So, Siduri...  you use the lasagnE spelling, too?!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif