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Old 05-31-2018, 12:49 PM   #61
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What a medley of stuff that does not make a good lasagna! Simplicity is one of the secrets. And I posted a thread about cannellini quoting simple ingredients some time ago. The same goes for lasagne! Italian recipes tend to be simple - and, by the way, cannolini and lasagne belong to the area of Italy around Parma and Modena, if you want the classic recipes - not the rest of Italy. Italy is just like you are in the USA - different dishes in different places!
Open your eyes for a while, and you will see!

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Old 05-31-2018, 01:18 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by di reston View Post
What a medley of stuff that does not make a good lasagna! Simplicity is one of the secrets. And I posted a thread about cannellini quoting simple ingredients some time ago. The same goes for lasagne! Italian recipes tend to be simple - and, by the way, cannolini and lasagne belong to the area of Italy around Parma and Modena, if you want the classic recipes - not the rest of Italy. Italy is just like you are in the USA - different dishes in different places!
Open your eyes for a while, and you will see!

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I have a genuine Italian cookbook called The Silver Spoon - The Bible of Italian Cooking (published in Italy in 1950, not published in English until 2005). It has at least 6 recipes for lasagna. Lasagna Napoletana has celery in it, but no ricotta. Lasagna Bolonese has no ricotta, only Parmesan with bechamel sauce. The only one listing ricotta is Eggplant and Ricotta Lasagna.

Probably won't solve the dispute, but it does show that there is more than one way to dress a lasagna noodle.
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Old 05-31-2018, 01:29 PM   #63
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That squares with what our Italian member, Luca said. Ricotta is not common in Italian lasagna. It appears to be an Italian-American thing. Not saying that's a good or bad thing. Just sayin'.
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Old 05-31-2018, 01:52 PM   #64
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My friend from Brazil sent me an Italian cookbook ( From Brazil) that focussed only on Lasagna. I have to see if I can dig it up to see what varieties they have.

On a slightly off topic , I once had ravioli that were filled with cottage cheese ( at some Irish restaurant). I could have lived with it if it were conventional cottage cheese, but it was the sweet kind, almost like when you have a sweet blintz. They were smothered with marinara sauce. I had no idea what I was biting into until I bit into it. Sweet cottage cheese and marinara sauce is not a winning combo. Needless to say, I never went back and the place is now out of business.

***Only reason I went there is I was attending an engagement party for my brother in law ( who is now divorced). Only reason why I selected ravioli in a primarily Irish restaurant, is it was the only vegetarian thing I could eat there. I would have preferred the meat!!***
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:36 PM   #65
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That squares with what our Italian member, Luca said. Ricotta is not common in Italian lasagna. It appears to be an Italian-American thing. Not saying that's a good or bad thing. Just sayin'.

I know you really like Luca's recipe Andy. Can you give us the link please?
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:46 PM   #66
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***Only reason I went there is I was attending an engagement party for my brother in law ( who is now divorced). Only reason why I selected ravioli in a primarily Irish restaurant, is it was the only vegetarian thing I could eat there. I would have preferred the meat!!***
To cry or to laugh, sorry.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:15 PM   #67
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I know you really like Luca's recipe Andy. Can you give us the link please?
Here it is, Kayelle: http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...yle-74951.html

As much as I liked the linked recipe, I made a couple of changes to accommodate our tastes. I use sweet Italian sausage and 50/50 parm reg and mozz. I use Barilla lasagna noodles as they are shorter and thinner than the usual curly-edged long noodles.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:26 PM   #68
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My first wife is from Calabria..she used to, and probably still does, put chopped hard boiled egg on top of her lasagna...
Here is a similar recipe that she made..not something I was used to but still pretty good..Italian Lasagna Recipe from Calabria | My Bella Vita Travel, llc
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Old 06-02-2018, 11:38 AM   #69
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When you buy cheese you can buy low fat ricotta, or whole milk ricotta. The whole milk ricotta is fattier and creamier.


When you buy cottage cheese you can buy 1% (fat) cottage cheese, or whole milk cottage cheese. To get the right fat percentage for the customer, cream is added to the curds.


When I bought ricotta I probably bought low fat ricotta and I found it dry and pasty, flavorless and the solution was to add a little cream cheese which is fatty. Pay attention to what you are buying exactly.



Now that I've made both cottage cheese and ricotta I can adjust the milk/cream as I like it, enough salt for a good balance of acid/salt, and as much fat as I like.



I'm going to suggest that you use what you like, high fat, low fat, blend it creamy or leave it in curd form. You can always add cream or cream cheese to get it to your liking for lasagna.
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Old 06-03-2018, 12:09 AM   #70
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I find it difficult to swallow the idea that someone would call any dish that someone makes, and likes, an abomination. If one person does not like something that another person enjoys, the courteous thing to say would be that one really does not like the ingredient, or recipe, and prefers another.

For instance, I love lamb, but hate classic mint flavor. So, to add a mint sauce to lamb is something I would never do. I do recognize though, that many people don't like the slightly gamey flavor of lamb, and that mint sauce either enhances the meat for them. or covers the gamey flavor. I would not say that adding mint sauce was an abomination.
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Old 06-03-2018, 12:20 AM   #71
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I'm pretty thick skinned and did not take too much offense to the comment. But such comments have drive people away from DC. We must always be douteous to each other, and try to lift each other's viewpoints, and not tear down something that another person says, especially if what was being said is done to try and broaden culinary knowledge. As to my lasagna with cottage cheese being an abomination, five pans were made for a get together of friens, and all five pans were devoured, with compliments to the cook (that would be me). I'm not saying that I have the authentic lasagna recipe, or that it's better than anyone else's. I am saying that when I make it, it gets eaten up quickly. And after all, isn't the enjoyment of what we are eating more important than what some book, or requirement to follow someone else's idea of the perfect recipe? I say, make any dish the way you like it. You are making it for your own enjoyment, and if others like it too, so much the better.

Seeeeeeeta; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 06-04-2018, 11:58 AM   #72
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Once upon a time, in the land far, far away called Food network cooking forum, before DC, there was a great chef who gave me this recipe, because I did not, could not make or eat meat lasagna.
Here it is:
TRICOLOR LASAGNA

(Courtesy of chef Rich)

"Lasagne al Forno Tricolore con Quattro Formaggio" (13 x 9 x 3 baking dish)

~preheat oven to 325 deg. F.~

***********************************************

------- The Filling --------

3 lbs. part skim ricotta
3 C. grated parmigiano reggianito from Argentina (cheaper version of Parmigiano Reggiano if desired)
3 extra large whole org. eggs
2 tsp. sea salt

1 lb. frozen chopped spinach, squeezed very dry
1 lb. roasted red peppers, drained and squeezed very dry

15-16 Barilla brand No-boil lasagna noodles

Blend the ricotta, parmigiano, eggs and salt in a mixer or food processor until light and fluffy. Divide this filling into three
equal portions. Puree the roasted peppers in the food processor bowl and whisk into one of the filling mixtures (red) until thoroughly mixed. Rinse the food processor bowl and dry. Puree the drained spinach and whisk this into another one of the filling mixtures (green) until thoroughly mixed. Leave the third filling mixture white.

-------- The balsamella --------

2 T. butter
2 T. xv olive oil
4 T. org. white rice flour (or AP flour)
6 C. 2% low fat milk
2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 tsp. white pepper

Melt the butter in the olive oil in a heavy 3 Qt. saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and whisk in the milk, slowly at first, until all the milk is added. Return to the heat and bring to a scald, still stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened, stirring often. Season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir, check seasonings and correct if necessary and remove from the heat. Yields about 5-5 1/2 cups.

-------- The topping --------

1 C. parmigiano reggianito
1 1/2 T. dried Turkish oregano
1 1/2 C. shredded fontina cheese
1 1/2 C. shredded asiago cheese

To assemble and bake the lasagna, spray the bottom and sides of the baking dish with Pam olive oil spray. Ladle about 1 cup of the balsamella in the bottom and spread around evenly. Place 3-4 noodles over the white sauce, not overlapping too much as the noodles expand somewhat. Spread the red ricotta mixture over this layer of noodles. Top with another cup of balsamella and a layer of 4 more noodles (typically the sides of the pan slope outward so you can fit more noodles on the upper layers). Spread the white ricotta mixture on this layer and top with another cup of balsamella. Place 4 more noodles over this layer and spread the green ricotta mixture on top of these noodles. Cover with another cup or so of the balsamella.
Top with 4 more noodles and the remaining balsamella. Mix the parmigiano and the oregano and sprinkle over the white sauce. Spread the shredded fontina and asiago evenly over the top and spray with a little more olive oil Pam until glistening.

Place in the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour until set (knife comes out clean) and top is golden brown and crispy. Cool for 15 minutes before serving or serve at room temp. Cool completely, wrap and freeze for reheating later.

**********************************************

I usually oven bake peppers, as it is simply easier, and easy to remove skin before chopping them up. Also I add stewed mushroom to the cheese layer. I sauté some onion add mushrooms, when mushrooms let out the liquid I stir and add some sour cream and let it cook till soft, add spices of your liking. I try to cook till all the liquid is gone, than puree the mixture in the same manner as peppers and spinach. Also I add couple of tablespoons of tomato paste to pepper/ricotta mixture to make it look redder. Also none of those cheeses are available in kosher variety here in Minnesota, so I adapt to what is available. Like substituting ricotta for cottage cheese or farmer's cheese for example. Of course, it goes without saying that spices could be adjusted to your taste, i.e. I like some garlic added. Oh yeah and I double the portion so I can freeze the leftovers and just warm them up.
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