Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No Boil Lasagna

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I have seen these no boil oven ready lasagna noodles at my grocer for years and have always passed them by thinking that they can’t possibly work.  Today I decided that I will give it a try and make up my own mind on whether they work or not.  I chose the Ronzoni brand because that is what my grocer had.  The box recipe instructed to use 12 pieces of pasta.  I only used 9 because I couldn’t imagine how another layer would fit in the pan.

I did everything as I usually would when getting the ingredients together except boil the pasta, which was a huge time saver not to mention one less pot to boil them in, a colander to drain them and a sheet pan to lay them flat on.  So, I sure hope this works.

I also discovered that I could spread the ricotta over the uncooked pasta sheets as I would spread frosting on a cake or butter on toast, even and easy.  Versus when I am trying to spread it over cooked noodles, it always slips and slides and the best I can do is place dollops around in hopes that it will even out during the baking. So, I sure hope it works!

The ricotta was sweet and the meat sauce was well balanced considering it was a pantry ready can of this and a can of that with only dry herbs to liven it up.  So, I sure hope it works…

I’M AMAZED.  IT WORKED.  The noodles were a little thin but still firm with a good bite.  In hind sight I would have squeezed the last layer of pasta into the dish because the lasagna was a bit flatter than I had hoped when I cut it.  There is a clear difference when you boil your pasta.  You will end up with a meatier noodle with more bite.  But, I would definitely recommend using these no boil noodles for a quick lasagna with half the work and clean up.  I may never boil pasta for lasagna again!!!  Except…  if I am having a true Italian for dinner, then I will have to bust out the San Marzano’s, fresh herbs and of course, boil the lasagna noodles.





NO BOIL LASAGNA
8          oz.                   Ronzoni Oven Ready Lasagna Noodles
1          pound              mozzarella, shredded
¼         cup                  parmesan cheese, grated

RICOTTA MIX
16        oz.                   ricotta cheese
1          large                egg
½         tsp.                  dry basil

Place ricotta, egg and basil in a bowl and mix well.

MEAT SAUCE
2          Tbsp.               olive oil
1          pound              ground beef
1          med.                onion, chopped small
2          cloves              garlic, minced
1          med.                carrot, grated fine
2          tsp.                  dry basil
1          tsp.                  dry oregano
1          tsp.                  kosher salt
½         tsp.                  black pepper
28        oz. can            crushed tomatoes
6          oz. can            tomato paste
1          cup                  water

Brown ground beef and drain oil if needed.  Add olive oil, onions, garlic and carrot to the pot and cook until onions are soft.  Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.

TO ASSEMBLE
Place 1 cup of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9 X 13” pan and spread evenly to coat bottom of pan.

Spread a heaping Tbsp. of ricotta mix over the uncooked lasagna sheet and place 3 sheets crosswise over the sauce.  Pieces should not overlap or touch side of pan since they will expand when baked.

Place about ½ cup of sauce over each sheet of pasta and spread out evenly to cover all the pasta.

Sprinkle with cup mozzerella cheese and repeat 2 more times until you have 3 layers.

Spread remaining meat sauce over the lasagna and top with last cup of mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Cover with a piece of foil that has been sprayed with pan coating to prevent the cheese from sticking to it.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Let stand for 15 – 20 minutes before cutting.

3 comments:

  1. Great recipe, It looks delicious!

    Dimah
    http://orangeblossomwater.net

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  2. NO Way! I've seen those no cook pasta's too and thought they couldn't possibly be good. Glad it worlked out!

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  3. Lisa,
    Thanks for the comment.
    I was a non-believer until last night!!! Just a little word of advice if you attempt your own experiment with no boil pasta. Use all the sauce. When I was reading on failures and success stories it was all about making sure you have enough moisture in the pan without any of the pasta exposed.
    Aloha,
    Susan

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