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Homemade lasagne pasta sheets (lasagna)
Everybody loves a good baked lasagna (lasagne al forno to the Italians). And, here on The Pasta Project there is a growing number of delicious baked lasagna recipes (yes there are different ways to make it!). However, making lasagne al forno with homemade lasagne pasta is pretty unbeatable!
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Baked lasagna around Italy.
Baked lasagna is a classic dish in most Italian regions. However, the recipe varies from region to region. In Northern Italy, they make it with fresh or dried egg pasta. Usually, the other ingredients are a classic Bolognese sauce or meat ragu, Parmigiano Reggiano or grana cheese and bechamel .
In Emilia-Romagna, they often use green lasagne pasta sheets, made with spinach. A great favourite of mine for baked lasagna from Emilia-Romagna is baked pasta roses or swallow’s nests (nidi di rodine) (see link below). In this dish, the lasagne sheets are rolled with ham and cheese and sometimes other ingredients inside them and then baked covered in bechamel. I have made this recipe with homemade lasagne and boy is it good!
In Naples, Neapolitan lasagna, a typical carnival dish, is prepared with Neapolitan ragu, meatballs, cow’s ricotta, provola and pecorino cheese. Interestingly, the lasagne in the south is often dried and made without egg.
In some Italian mountain areas, they substitute the ragu or meat sauce with mushrooms. Whereas, they sometimes use pesto instead of ragu in Liguria, and in Veneto, red radicchio from Treviso.
In Umbria and in Marche, there is a particular version called ‘vincisgrassi’ in which the ragu is enriched with chicken or pork offal. In the Apennines, the ragu is replaced by a filling of porcini, truffles and pecorino and in Sicily, there is also the ‘alla Norma’ version with eggplants. Or, they add boiled eggs to the dish.
Not all Italian recipes for ‘lasagne al forno’ contain tomatoes. In fact, there are many ‘white’ recipes too. Italians say ‘lasagna bianca’. A ‘white’ lasagna I particularly love comes from Puglia. It’s made with mushrooms and burrata (see link below). Believe me when I say, it’s amazingly delicious. Plus, there’s no meat included, perfect for vegetarians too!
Here in Northern Italy, people also call these dishes (red and white) ‘pasticcio’. However, although pasticcio has layers of pasta with various fillings baked in the oven, it isn’t always with lasagne sheets.
Making homemade lasagne pasta is easy!
Fresh lasagne sheets are available to buy throughout Italy. But, the absolute best is homemade lasagne. It’s actually pretty easy to make, with or without a pasta machine. Why not give it a try next time you want to make a baked lasagna? I’m sure once you’ve done it, you’ll want to do it again and again! There really is quite a difference in the taste of homemade pasta and store bought, even if the latter is fresh!
Do you need to precook fresh lasagne?
When making your baked lasagna dish you can either precook the pasta for a couple of minutes in boiling salted water before assembling the dish or use it raw. In the latter case, the sauce needs to be a little more liquidy. I usually don’t precook fresh pasta.
If you do try making your own homemade lasagne, I’d love to hear how it turns out. Please, write a comment here on the blog or post a comment onthe Pasta Project Facebook page.
Your feedback means a lot to me!
Recipes on The Pasta Project for your homemade lasagne pasta.
(just click on the name of the recipe to go to that page)
- Lasagne al forno with Bolognese from Emilia-Romagna
- Radicchio pasticcio (Italian chicory lasagna) from Veneto
- Baked lasagna alla Norma from Sicily
- Baked pasta roses from Emilia-Romagna
- Lasagna bianca with mushrooms and burrata from Puglia
- Italian lamb lasagna
- Poached salmon and asparagus lasagna
- Lasagna baked in broth from Molise
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Homemade lasagne/lasagna pasta
Jacqueline De Bono
Make your baked lasagna taste even better with homemade pasta! Lasagne sheets are pretty easy to make and all you need is flour, eggs and a pinch of salt.
4.93 from 54 votes
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Prep Time 45 minutes mins
Total Time 45 minutes mins
Course Homemade Pasta
Calories 342 kcal
- 400 g Italian soft wheat flour '00' (14oz) All purpose flour can be used too.
- 4 eggs large
- 1 pinch salt
To make the pasta, mound your flour on a large wooden board. Make a well in the center and add a pinch of salt.
Break the eggs into the well and whisk them a little ( you can also beat eggs in a small bowl and then add to flour or start by mixing flour and eggs together in a bowl and then turn out onto a board to knead)
Start to incorporate the eggs and flour by slowly bringing more flour in from the inside edges of the well. You can use a fork or scraper for this.
Continue mixing the flour with the eggs until they are no longer runny.
Using your hands now, bring the outside edges in, forming a large mass on your board.
Begin to knead the dough as you would bread, pushing it down with the heel of your hand.
Continue kneading for about 7-10 minutes. Knead until the pasta dough is smooth, elastic, and just slightly tacky. You can dust the dough with more flour if it’s too sticky, but try not to add too much additional flour or the pasta will be tough.
Roll the dough into a ball and wrap it in cling film and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
Cut off 1/6 of the dough, re-wrap the rest in cling film so it doesn’t dry out and roll out the piece you cut off until it is flat enough that you can pass it through a pasta machine if you are using one.
I used my pasta machine to roll out the sheets, first 3-4 times on number 6 or 7 on the dial (widest setting) and then a couple of times more on number 4. Each time you pass the dough through the machine fold it first into thirds and pass it through again until it comes out with the right thickness and length. If you want even thinner sheets you can also pass the dough through again on number 2 or 3. Cut the sheet to the length you want.
If you aren’t using a machine you need to keep rolling out the dough until it is thin enough to almost see your fingers through it. Then cut the sheet to the size you want.
Transfer the ready sheets to a drying rack while you prepare the rest. Repeat with the remaining dough. (the lasagne can be stored, when completely dry and stiff, for up to 1 week). If you don't have a drying rack see recipe notes.
The success of any baked lasagna dish with homemade lasagne depends on using thin, freshly made sheets of pasta. The thinness of the pasta lets the flavors of the sauce and cheese marry to create a lasagna that’s light and truly special.
When making your baked lasagna dish you can either precook the pasta for a couple of minutes in boiling salted water before assembling the dish or use it raw. In this case the sauce needs to be a little more liquidy. (I usually don’t precook fresh pasta)
The number of sheets you make depends on how thin you roll the dough and the size you cut it. This recipe should make about 1lb or 500g of fresh lasagne sheets.
On my pasta machine the widest setting is the highest number. On some machines the lowest number is the widest setting.
If you don’t have a drying rack lay the pasta sheets spaced apart on a tray with lightly floured baking paper if cooking the pasta immediately. If you want to dry your sheets lay them on a lightly floured fine tea towel placed on a wire mesh oven tray (or similar) placed on top of an oven dish so air can circulate while the pasta dries. The best flour for drying pasta on is semolina flour.
Nutrition info is for one serving of fresh egg pasta without sauce.
Calories: 342kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 13gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 59mgPotassium: 134mgFiber: 2gSugar: 0.3gVitamin A: 190IUCalcium: 32mgIron: 4mg
Keyword fresh pasta, homemade pasta, Italian food, Italian recipe, lasagna, lasagne
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New recipes for homemade pasta sheets you will love.
I’ve just posted (March 27th 2020) a great recipe for homemade pasta sheets that you should check out! Baked fazzoletti from Abruzzo
Also worth trying is this recipe from Liguria for silk handkerchief pasta squares with pesto. Just cut your pasta sheets into squares instead of rectangles! Silk handkerchief pasta with pesto.
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To build up the layers of your lasagne, have your ingredients and sauces ready and to hand. I like to use fresh lasagne sheets, which you can buy in the fresh pasta section in the supermarket – they can go straight in and there's no need to pre-cook the pasta sheets at all.Do fresh lasagna sheets need to be boiled? ›
To build up the layers of your lasagne, have your ingredients and sauces ready and to hand. I like to use fresh lasagne sheets, which you can buy in the fresh pasta section in the supermarket – they can go straight in and there's no need to pre-cook the pasta sheets at all.Do you need to cook pasta sheets for lasagna? ›
It is not necessary to pre-cook lasagne pasta. Pre-heat oven. In a greased ovenproof dish place a thin layer of your choice of sauce and then arrange a layer of lasagne sheets on top. Alternate layers of the sauce and lasagne sheets covering the last layer with a white sauce.How many lasagne sheets should I use? ›
Betony Kitchen says you could make lasagna with as little as two layers for a quick lasagna that doesn't take long to bake. Many, however, would consider this skimping. Most recipes you'll find for lasagna call for a minimum of three layers, which seems to be the universal standard.What happens if you don't boil the lasagna noodles? ›
Some people swear you can use regular lasagna noodles without boiling them first. This works as long as they get extra moisture during cooking just like the no-boil noodles (either by soaking before assembling or using a watery sauce, and covering the dish).What happens if you don't boil lasagna? ›
If I don't boil the oven-ready noodles, I notice my lasagna dish is more dried out. Another delicious meal that needs to boil oven-ready lasagna sheets is luscious lasagna rolls stuffed with an herb ricotta cheese mixture. The pasta pieces need to be pliable to make the rolls.Is it better to use fresh or dry lasagna sheets? ›
Fresh pasta sheets cook faster. If you can't find fresh pasta sheets, you can use dried pasta sheets. To use dried pasta sheets in lasagne, cook the lasagne for 10-15 minutes longer than fresh sheets. If your lasagne is looking too brown on top, you can cover it with foil for this extra cooking time.Do you need to pre cook Barilla lasagne sheets? ›
Cooking & Measuring
There's no need to pre-cook these lasagne sheets.
Barilla® Oven-Ready Lasagna does not need to be boiled before cooking. Simply assemble the lasagna dish in an oven-safe dish and then bake.Do lasagna sheets need to be soaked? ›
Beat the egg in a bowl, then mix with ricotta, parsley, a pinch of nutmeg and pepper. Soak the lasagne sheets in a single layer in boiling water for 5 mins. (Although the packet says no pre-cook, I find soaking improves the texture.)
Home Cook World claims that the typical lasagna should have between three and five layers, but the proper number depends more on pan size. You don't want your lasagna to look flat or shallow in a large pan, and in this case, its best to prepare to come closer to five layers rather than three.Do you soak lasagne sheets first? ›
Soak—Instead of Boil—Lasagna Noodles
"This means you don't have to bother bringing a large pot of water to a boil to pre-cook them. And since they're soaked, they'll cook faster in the oven than if you used noodles that were completely dry," writes Prakash.
Fill a large pot with water, add salt and then bring to a boil. Add the lasagna sheets and cook for about 8 minutes. At the same time, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Take out a baking pan and add a layer of meat sauce to the bottom.How thick should lasagna sauce be? ›
Both the ragù and béchamel sauce should be dense and creamy. Avoid sauces that are too liquid and slide to the bottom of the dish. A thicker consistency of the sauce will allow the pasta to be flavoured in the best possible way.How do you boil lasagna sheets without them sticking? ›
Boil water like you normally do when cooking lasagne sheets. However, this time stir vigorously in circles so you create a whirlpool in the water. This way, when you add the lasagne sheets to the boiling water, the whirlpool movement will prevent them from sticking to each other.What lasagna sheets don t need to be boiled? ›
Lasagne later came to refer to a dish cooked in a pot using long flat pasta sheets, layered with minced meat, cheese, and tomatoes. Barilla® Oven Ready Lasagne does not require boiling the pasta before baking -- simply add it directly to your pan and bake. Barilla® Oven Ready Lasagne is made with non-GMO ingredients.Why use fresh lasagne sheets? ›
Homemade lasagna sheets give the dish a different texture
Texture aside, another good reason to use homemade lasagna sheets is that they cook more quickly, which means whatever time you might have spent making the pasta will have been saved by cutting down on its cooking time, per My Foodbook.
Cooking fresh pasta is just as easy as cooking dried pasta, but it cooks more quickly. To cook fresh pasta noodles, simply bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high to high heat. Be sure to add plenty of salt to the pot of water; this will help flavor the pasta.