Lasagna with Fresh Pasta

Joined Mar 1, 2011
If you have a vegetarian for dinner is a good solution, you can also make your lasagna with asiago or other hard cheese and cicory...

If your bechamel is too liquid (to have a good bechamel it must'nt be too much liquid) you must add flavour, it is very useful

I dont' know what is Olive Garden, sorry...

Vincisgrassi is a regional type of lasagna made in Marche and some parts of Umbria, central Italy regions.

You must use ragu' and bechamel but you need to add chicken's offal, beef's brain or marrow and finally you must add Marsala wine or mulled wine...I never ate it but Marche are very near to Bologna, about 200 km, and I know it.

I think if you have others question is better to open a new topic, meanwhile good work to Cinnamongirl... 
Joined Aug 13, 2006
Simone, Olive garden is a chain of restaurants (catena) that supposedly have Italian cuisine (or Tuscan cuisine?) but really it is very much American influenced.  I've never eaten there. 
Joined Jan 25, 2011
I always prefer mine boiled first. I tried without the first time and even with extra sauce it didn't have that amazing texture you get from the pasta when you boil it.
Joined Mar 1, 2011
I supposed that Olive Garden was a chain of restaurant,  I will go to the site and I will see what they prepare...
Joined Apr 3, 2008
Olive Garden is terrible.  I used to go there when I was a teenager because I didn't know any better and I thought it was good.  It's one of those restaurants that covers every plate with marinara sauce.  Seriously, how can every dish have marinara sauce on top of it? 
Joined May 5, 2010
I have seen the website, it's isn't italian's only a strange mixture of food...

Hence my tongue in cheek question.......Their commercials used to feature their (Chefs) being sent to Tuscany where there is supposedly an "Olive Garden" school to teach them how to cook their signature menu items. That commercial has since been removed from the air waves.
Joined Feb 26, 2012
Simone, I Tavel to Italy 2times per year near Desenzano, I love the food there in the north. I try to reproduce all the dishes I love, pumpkin ravioli! This is one of my favorite! I alway boil my fresh pasta. I don't think I would gamble skipping this.


Joined Sep 18, 2011

Firstly, I am writing to reply to the 1st question which is: does one have to boil fresh pasta ? One has to boil pasta whether it is a dry variety, or a dry egg variety or a fresh variety, though the time shall be less with a fresh variety.

I too am half Italian and we make our Lasagna with a Ragú which has been long simmered and made with:

extra virgin olive oil






Italian bread

ground beef or veal

ground pork

sweet sausage uncased

piquant sausage uncased

dry white wine


peeled and deseeded and chopped tomato

tomato paste

*** Garlic: In Emilia Romagna, Italy, garlic was avoided to obvious bad breath however, in the USA, garlic is loved and enjoyed freely; so it is optional and the cook´s choice  

The Emilia Romagna Government in the City of Bologna which is where the ragù originated has an Italian and English version of their documented recipe. One can contact the tourism board online for it.

Also, Mario Batali creates a Ragù which is quite similar to the one mentioned by the Government and possibly can be found in Bon Appetit Magazine or Food and Wine Magazine online.

Have a nice Sunday.

Margaux Cintrano.
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Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
I've used the parboiled noodles for pasta without boiling them. Very convenient. Also a great shortcut to manicotti for a home cook. Boil 5 minutes, fill and roll.

For a fresh pasta in lasagna, I'd boil it first. I'd be tempted it remove it a minute or so early, I admit.


Joined Sep 18, 2011
Vincisgrassi is a hearty and rich lasagna from the Marches region of Umbria. Vincisgrassi are the lasagne type flat sheets of pasta and it is usually filled with a chicken ragù, similar to a Bolognese and a white cream sauce similar to a bechamel.

The chicken ragu iingredients are:

olive oil, minced onion, sausage, pancetta, celery, carrot, chicken meat, bay leaf, tomato paste, ground cloves, chicken livers, Marsala wine, tomatoes, chicken stock, and milk.

This information is from the The Marches Government Tourist Office when I had travelled there.

Have a nice Sunday.

Joined Mar 19, 2009
I've done homemade lasagna many times. An Italian matrona taught me years ago. Simone and margcata are totally right. This recipe may change (to me it's an egg pasta) but you need to let the dough rest for a while, let the pasta sheets (thin and hard) dry on cotton cloth, boil the pasta 1 minute in salted water, cool it down in iced water, and let it dry again. Then the ragú, the béchamel, etc.

Se non è vero, è ben trovato. Ringraziando la madonna. Sempre.
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Joined Apr 3, 2010
It can also be made without boiling the pasta first, but you have to add a lot more sauce as it would absorb it fast.
Joined Apr 24, 2011
I watched an America’s Test Kitchen episode where they “par boiled” the lasagna noodles by placing them in a 9X13 inch glass baking dish, pouring rapidly boiling water over to cover and then leaving them for a period of time.  The noodles were them patted dry and then they assembled the dish.  Now that was using Barilla “No Boil” dried sheets, I was wondering if I could do that with fresh sheets?
Joined Feb 12, 2011
I haven't seen this episode, but I feel like this technique would not be a good idea for fresh pasta. In general, this sounds like something my wife would file under the "rationality of irrationality". Why wouldn't you just drop the pasta into the water you just boiled? The water still needs to be drained, the pasta still needs to be shocked and patted dry. Again, without seeing the episode, I fail to see any rational benefit from this method.

Here's a problem that I run into with making lasagna. ( My only experience is with fresh made pasta.) If you over crowd the pan( or basket in my case) the sheets will stick to themselves or each other. This can also happen when the water is not at a rolling boil. In fact, I had to make ten pans today and struggled a bit with this. In the name of getting all the sheets cooked in as little time as possible, I pushed the limits of what I could cook at a time. Had a few sheets that I slowly shredded to bits trying to release them from each other. I'm afraid that this is what'll happen with the ATK method.

I have experimented with several different ways of cutting corners to make the lasagne faster. Some work just fine, some total failure, others may be good enough, but don't result in something specific to my taste. The biggest thing I can't get around is cooking the sheets. I cook them one at a time. Shock, dry, lay in the pan, sauce and repeat. One at a time is the ideal. You have max control over the cooking of the sheets. Shock quickly, the sheet will continue to absorb even ice water. Dry right away and build the dish. If you want to cook more at a time it means holding in the water bath unless you plan on drying the sheets and stacking them using oil so they don't stick(as I did today) or you need more than one person building the lasagne while you are cooking the sheets. To get the optimal texture, I haven't found a way around cooking fresh pasta one by one

If you do give it a shot, let me know how it goes.
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
I watched an America’s Test Kitchen episode where they “par boiled” the lasagna noodles by placing them in a 9X13 inch glass baking dish, pouring rapidly boiling water over to cover and then leaving them for a period of time.  The noodles were them patted dry and then they assembled the dish.  Now that was using Barilla “No Boil” dried sheets, I was wondering if I could do that with fresh sheets?

And it worked?  I have a huge problem with lasagna noodles.  I've only tried the barilla no boil and I dropped them into a pot of boiling water.  When I took them out a minute later and into a collander they all stuck together, I couldn't pry them apart.  It was disgusting!
Joined Feb 12, 2011
Sounds like those Barilla sheets cook similarly to fresh pasta. You can't just drop them in the water or you and up with Kou's mess. You need a fryer basket that fits inside your boiling water pot. Or use one of those wok strainers ( do people call that a spider?). This way you can cook one or two or four sheets( depends on the size of your pot) at a time, fish them out, and drop in an ice water bath.

I was trying to make this and few other things more clear by editing my previous post, but the changes will not post. They are still there when I try to edit again, but every time I submit, the same old poorly worded post is staring at me o_O
Joined Feb 17, 2010
The Barilla "no boil" sheets are pre cooked, they do not require any cooking beforehand. They are meant to be used dry.

Are they as good as cooking fresh pasta or dried sheets? No, but 95 % of the people would never notice any difference.

I use the Barilla sheets at home.
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Founder of
Staff member
Joined Oct 5, 2001
I have used the barilla pre-cooked sheets and have had no problems with them. Of course they don't have the same texture as fresh made pasta but for weekday home pasta they are just fine. Actually a very versatile product I think.

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