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Old 09-07-2006, 11:27 AM   #1
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Freezing uncooked lasagna?

Well, I made lasagna for the first time in 3 years. I made it only twice before and they didn't turn out too great. So this practically makes me a lasagna newbie. I recently got inspired by a classic Italian lasagna recipe by Mario Batali in Gourmet Magazine.

I followed the recipe to the letter except where he tells you to make your own lasagna pasta which you have to preboil. Instead I used very thin Agnesi lasagna (no need to pre-boil.)

I've assembled the lasagna uncooked and it's now in a baking pan in the freezer. I'll cook it tomorrow night. Then it hit me that the Bolognese sauce I made based on his recipe is the type that's not saucy, actually just ground up meat that's slightly moist. There's also a thin coating of bechamel on top of each pasta layer. And some grated parmegiano.

My questions are:

1. Will my lasagna turn out too dry? If so, what can I do to correct it before baking? (I'm now actually thinking of adding some stock to the bottom and then cover the whole pan with foil before baking.)

2. And this is a stupid question, should I defrost the lasagna first before popping into the oven?

Many thanks!

P.S. I wanted to post to an old thread about freezing uncooked lasagna but it's locked down.

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Old 09-07-2006, 12:01 PM   #2
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ive never used the agnessi thin pasta sheets you speak of, however, i always ignore the "do not precook" labels and i will precook them for about two minutes until pliable, they still remain al dente when finished in the oven.... my guess is they will turn out dry and crunchy since they wont be able to soak up the moisture that a runny sauce would have... i believe you should introduce some moisture, stock will be fine and the covering with foil will help, once you see its nice and bubbling inside you can remove the cover the last 10 minutes or so to get the nice crunchy and golden finish on top, run it under broil for a bit.... on the defrosting, my inclination is that you should but now that i think of it, i have seen many frozen lasagna that are homemade that require no defrosting and turn out fine, just may need to cook longer.... im gonna go with, no defrosting required
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Old 09-07-2006, 12:21 PM   #3
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frozen lasagna

everytime i make lasagna i make enough for at least three extra dinners.

it freezes very well i do defrost mine before i bake the lasagna and have never had a problem at all. i have never used the noodles that are not cooked before assembling the lasagna, i too would say watch it while you bake i think your going to have to add liquid. maybe a tomatoe juice with a
bit of garlic??

or maybe a tomatoe juice spiked with red wine?
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Old 09-07-2006, 12:21 PM   #4
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Chopstix, you can toss a frozen lasagna in the oven. And if you do that then likely you will have enough moisture to keep things fine. Do you cover while you bake it? I think I would.

PS. can you post a link to that thread you couldn't post in? That shouldn't happen. Thanks!
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Old 09-07-2006, 12:24 PM   #5
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I freeze regular lasagna all the time and I thaw it, although I imagine if I cooked it twice as long it would be fine. On another board where a very knowledgeable cook/chef posts, she even uses just regular lasagna noodles uncooked, but with a juicier sauce. I wouldn't freeze that, however. Yours may be OK, by the time it is thawed, even with the less liquid.
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Old 09-07-2006, 01:07 PM   #6
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I freeze it all the time. I also do not cook the pasta before assembly. After thawing it completely I just check the liquid level, all pasta should be covered by liquid, and add water or tomato juice. It's been a lifesaver many times! Try it you'll like it and serve it more often!
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Old 09-07-2006, 09:21 PM   #7
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You didn't even have to freeze it if you were planning on making it the next day.

When those pasta sheets cook they are going to absorb all the liquid in their neighbourhood. Typically, if you use sheets like that, (they also come frozen, and I'd recommend them for you, instead) you have to compensate for the dryness of the pasta by adding much more liquid.

Which brings me to your situation. I am loathe to suggest you add stock to lasagna...lasagna simply doesn't have stock in it. If you absolutely have to add liquid (and I believe you should), then I suggest tomato juice, perhaps flavoured with some italian spices and granulated garlic. I think you'll be happier with that rather than stock.

I always work with those sheets at home, and have a superiour product that is frozen for work. At home, I don't cook the sheets, that would defeat their purpose, but I have been known to wet them just to wash off any dried starch you may see on the sheet.

Let me know how it came out...
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:35 PM   #8
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Great! I think I'll thaw it in the fridge now. And I just happen to have tomato juice in the pantry! I'll put that in with some spices then cover until last 10 min. Thanks for all your responses! I'll report back Vera...
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:39 PM   #9
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Alix, here's that locked down thread.
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:22 AM   #10
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Ah! Thanks Chopstix, I remember it now. There was some worry about things becoming unfriendly there. Its better that you started this one where we will all remain happy.
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