Lasagna with Fresh Pasta

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Chef Metalli

I am excited to see an Italian chef posting and look forward to reading them all, in my Sous Chef/Slave days I worked for an Italian Chef, he made many wonderful dishes that I have not seen in any cook book, when ever I asked about specific region he was from, he would say a lot, but never really answer my question, I fear he was trained in America, probably on the east coast. I love Italian food and think I could ask a least 500 questions, but I must go to work, there is cooking to be done. Hope to see more posts soon. We made our lasagna with ricotta, sliced meatballs and sliced sausage, probably an American verison, Olive Garden is not a restaurant, it is a corporation that wants to appeal to the masses, and is only interested in money.

Have a great day
 
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It seems to me boiling fresh pasta - and if so, for how long, is a matter of personal preference. I would not in lasagna because of it being baked, I'd want the noodles to have more substance than would be possible if they were boiled then baked.

"Italian" food in the USA would almost certainly be Americanized. There are so many regional differences within Italy. For instance, northern Italians don't use much tomato/marinara at all. Bologna is in central/northern Italy, so I think Simon's approach is traditional for his region.

And Americanized means different things in different places. For instance, Olive Gardens here in California have a lot on the menu that is not covered in marinara sauce. It seems strange to someone in Italy what they do have though. Thing is Olive Garden is a casual dining restaurant, it has to appeal to a massive number of those in its own region. With most Californians having easy access to other Italian American restaurants that DO smother pasta in marinara, Olive Garden has to offer something more distinctive to justify charging a few dollars a plate more, but traditional Italian food from other regions, which may seem strange to many Americans, is not what would work for them.
 
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It seems to me boiling fresh pasta - and if so, for how long, is a matter of personal preference. I would not in lasagna because of it being baked, I'd want the noodles to have more substance than would be possible if they were boiled then baked.

"Italian" food in the USA would almost certainly be Americanized. There are so many regional differences within Italy. For instance, northern Italians don't use much tomato/marinara at all. Bologna is in central/northern Italy, so I think Simon's approach is traditional for his region.

And Americanized means different things in different places. For instance, Olive Gardens here in California have a lot on the menu that is not covered in marinara sauce. It seems strange to someone in Italy what they do have though. Thing is Olive Garden is a casual dining restaurant, it has to appeal to a massive number of those in its own region. With most Californians having easy access to other Italian American restaurants that DO smother pasta in marinara, Olive Garden has to offer something more distinctive to justify charging a few dollars a plate more, but traditional Italian food from other regions, which may seem strange to many Americans, is not what would work for them.
 
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Commercially pasta sheet come 48 to the box frozen. 48 should do 2 hotel pans 2 inch. you DO NOT BOIL the sheets. One must note however that extra sauce must be used as the sheets since raw will absorb more liquid. I challenge  any customer to tell me the difference between. Frsh or frozen, even the pro's can't.
 
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As with many doughs, pasta dough freezes exceptionally. I would have a very difficult time believing anyone who claims to be able to tell the difference. I typically will make enough sheets to last a few weeks(we only move about 2 pans in an average week). This way I can quickly make a pan whatever it may be needed.

Ed, where are you finding these commercial sheets? I've tried a few, but found them to be too thick, say 8-10 layers in a 2" pan. I like there to be 16, I would certainly be interested doing some tests with a pre made pasta that meets my specs.
 
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Question: will the frozen pasta make a nice crust on the borders of the lasagna?
 
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Yes, you will still get those wonderfully crispy edges. Freezing raw sheets of fresh pasta will have zero noticeable effect on the end result. At least none that I've noticed.
 
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U.S Foodservice had them. They had an italian name on the box. I believe same company made already breaded and 1/2 fried eggplant . I believe they were in upstate NY. Check Sysco or Gordon foods they may handle them also.
 
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Another thing we used to do.

Cook regular boxed lasagna. Cool then Spread individual pieces  on table ,roll the filling in each noode, put some sauce in 2 inch pan then rolled lasagna cover with more sauce, and cheese then  bake.  Each noodle is then  an individual portion, it is different and looks nice, and easy to serve. Each one can be frozen individually .
 
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I've been making fresh pasta for over a year, but have never used it for lasagna or another baked Italian dish.

My question is do I need to boil the freshly made pasta before using it in the lasagna?  I've searched the web and have seen; boiling is required and boiling is not required.  Which is correct?

Thanks.

My mother always boiled the pasta first and then laid it out in the glass dish for the lasagna mix. Just her personal style I suppose.
 
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Either works it your choice again if you dont cook first add xtra sauce to the lasagna as the noodles wll absorb it. For Manicotti or Cannaloni same applies.
 
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The idea of individual lasagnas is a good one. No dispute over crusted edges.

An anecdote: once in Mestre (next Venezia) my wife and I were served a lasagna in a small restaurant. When the owner and cook, an Italian grandma, asked me "e buona?" i said  it was good, but not superb. Next she came back with a black truffle and a truffle grater, and… Mamma mía!

There you have: if your lasagna is not so good, just grate some truffles on it!
 
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Here i am

I have had some problems but now I am here another time...

I have seen that this discussion goes on and I want to thanks Curtis for the message

The essence of the question for me is: How they make in the place where the plate was born?

I think that the original recipe of a plate is the recipe that use in the place where the plate was born so I think that the real pizza is the pizza that they make in Napoli, that the Risotto alla MIlanese original is the Risotto that they make in Milan and I think that the original recipes of Lasagna or Tagliatelle or Ragu' are the recipes that we use in Bologna...

When I was in Canada last summer I ate a dish of spaghetti alla carbonara and I remember that it was horrible...instead I ate hamburgers, fried chicken, Louisiana Sausages and I remember that they were very good....the hamburgers in Canada or USA are best than in Italy because the original recipe is American...(it is only an exemple...)

For Curtis: if you have questions for me you can send me a mp
 
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Simone! Is great to hear from you again. When I noticed that other people were again commenting in this thread, I was reminded of you. I am glad that you are back and hope that life is treating you well. I have a question for you regarding piada. It is one of my favorite foods. I will leave my question on the thread about piada that you started so many months ago...
 
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I agree with you about considering the original dish. So many of us try to put a spin on a dish without renaming it, that after time the dish bears very little similarity to the original.
 
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When I was in Italy, never had 2 lasagnas that were the same . Every home every restaurant made  their own verson. Same thing with the gravy or tomato sauce , no 2 the same. They were all pretty good. Only thing I ate that I must say was not to good and did not live up to it's hype, was their verson of ice cream or Geleto. On more then one occassion it was loaded with ice crystals ,&  tasted artificial in flavor . I will take oue Hagen Daz store bought anyday.
 
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Here i am

I have had some problems but now I am here another time...

I have seen that this discussion goes on and I want to thanks Curtis for the message

The essence of the question for me is: How they make in the place where the plate was born?

I think that the original recipe of a plate is the recipe that use in the place where the plate was born so I think that the real pizza is the pizza that they make in Napoli, that the Risotto alla MIlanese original is the Risotto that they make in Milan and I think that the original recipes of Lasagna or Tagliatelle or Ragu' are the recipes that we use in Bologna...

When I was in Canada last summer I ate a dish of spaghetti alla carbonara and I remember that it was horrible...instead I ate hamburgers, fried chicken, Louisiana Sausages and I remember that they were very good....the hamburgers in Canada or USA are best than in Italy because the original recipe is American...(it is only an exemple...)

For Curtis: if you have questions for me you can send me a mp
Here we go again with my favorite topic: authenticity.  Are yodu trying to tell us that we Americans should not eat Italian food unless we go to Italy?  Does that mean that we should just stick with eating hamburgers then?  Do you think it's possible that if a chef was born in Bologna and lived there all his life and he made lasagna every day of his life, do you then think it is possible for that chef to come to America and open a restaurant and serve that lasagna?  You don't think these restaurants exist here?  Or do you think he should serve burgers and hot dogs instead? 

I hate to tell you this but along with all the wonderful food I ate in Italy there was also some bad food.  Sorry for the bad news.
 
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I am italian and I dont' like all the italian food: for example I don't eat fish because I don't like it. I am the first to say that in some italian restaurant in Italy you can eat horryble!!! Some restaurant here are traps where you can spend a lot of money eating bad food.

I think only that if I want to learn to do american food is best to ask to an American, if I want to learn to cook chinese food is best to ask a chinese and if you want to learn to cook italian food is best to ask to an italian.

If I try to cook a typical american plate I will ask to an american and probably he will teach to me to cook the american way...probably I do not like it because I usually make it in the italian way...we agree....
 
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