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Old 11-16-2005, 10:27 PM   #11
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You can cook some pasta without boiling it first ... but it will have to be a thinner pasta baked in a very wet sauce. There are some lasagna noodles that do not require cooking first - but they are pretty thin. "Hamburger Helper" also uses uncooked noodles - but they are cooked in plenty of liquid in the dish. You can't just stuff uncooked shells with something and sprinkle on some cheese and expect them to soften up (that requires plenty of moisture) during cooking.

I don't have a package of Barilla manicotti (cannelloni) but I did look at the instructions and recipes on their website. While the recipe may not say to cook them first - somewhere on the box it does (the recipes on the website do). I have a box (different brand) where the ingredients calls for a box of uncooked noodles - but then the first line of the recipe says to cook them according to package instructions.

Yes - regular pasta is the dry stuff you get off the shelf. Fresh pasta will be "refrigerated" - but even that will not cook without enough moisture - just stuffing it and sticking it in a baking dish with a sprinkle of cheese on top will just dry it out as it "bakes". Even if you boil the noodles first - without enough liquid during cooking they can dry out and become brittle. Right, urmaniac13?
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:32 AM   #12
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Yes that's right, Michael. Even if you use a fresh version of pasta, it requires plenty of moist sauce to cover to be cooked in, sprinkles of cheese will not be enough, unless you happen to like your pasta "crunchy"...(I do like many things crunchy but pasta, no!!)
You are also right about the thickness of the pasta. For instance, the type of pasta often used for lasagne in some parts of the world (particularly in the US), the one with wavy edges, is much thicker than the lasagna pasta we use in italy, which is flat and no wavy edges. I don't believe the version with wavy edges will cook sufficiently without preboiling. But if you are used to this and see the flat version of the lasagna pasta, you will see the difference. this kind of dried pasta WILL cook without preboiling perfectly, WITH SUFFICIENT AMOUNT OF SAUCE TO COVER IT AND COOK IN.
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Old 11-17-2005, 12:09 PM   #13
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Right then,it's unanimous,need a liquid to cook pasta,who would have thought.
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Old 11-17-2005, 12:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foodaholic
Right then,it's unanimous,need a liquid to cook pasta,who would have thought.
Couldn't have said it better myself Oh wait, I did say it myself -- several posts up.
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Old 11-17-2005, 02:15 PM   #15
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The Barilla website has a few recipes for canneloni (manicotti) and they all say to boil the pasta first.

Barilla makes both boil and "no boil" pasta, but the no boil (like their lasagna)is made differently than the type that has to be boiled. Their maincotti is a boil-first noodle.

You can bake "raw" pasta that is supposed to be boiled first (like lasagna) without boiling but you need to bake it in a lot of sauce, which hydrates the pasta.
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Old 11-17-2005, 02:23 PM   #16
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A couple of recipes I've seen using "no boil" pasta even call for making the dish a few hours or the night before. To me that would defeat the purpose of using it in the first place. I've used the lasagna and always make it a point to put more sauce than in a cooked pasta.
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Old 11-17-2005, 02:29 PM   #17
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Licia,

That does seem weird. I use Barilla no boil lasagna noodles regularly and they are great. But I don't make the dish up ahead of time. Just use as though they were already cooked.
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:50 PM   #18
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Jenny - I use those lasagne sheets, too. I haven't used the pre-cook before baking type for many years. I like the Barilla products.
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:12 PM   #19
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Am I wrong, or is there a cannelloni made with crepes?
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance
Am I wrong, or is there a cannelloni made with crepes?
You're right. I've seen 3 methods. First uses the extruded pasta tubes, second uses a square or rectangle of pasta rolled over the filling and placed in the baking dish seam side down (like making enchiladas), and the third is like the second only using crepes instead of pasta. From the recipes that I have seen (the two books that I have that mention using crepes), the crepes are either a regional thing or used with a more delicate filling and sauce - such as a simple ricotta or ricotta and seafood, and covered with bechemella.
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