home Forums Kitchen Chit-Chat Making lasagna from scratch

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  • #31697
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I regularly make several different variants on lasagna. I have alway used bought lasagna sheets for them (Barilla brand). I just put the uncooked sheets in as part of the assembly.

    However I just got a new Kitchenaid mixer. I scored a pasta roller with it. So I am wondering if I make my own lasagne sheets, do I need to precook the sheets, or can they go straight in too? I would use a bread flour/egg dough. Though I am open to suggestions there too.

    #31700
    Laura Pazzaglia
    Keymaster

    You still need to pre-cook them – but you need much less time. When the pasta is fresh, you can just dip each sheet in boiling water for half a minute and then transfer to the colander with cold water running to stop the cooking.

    Here they sell “refrigerated pasta sheets” and those are semi-dry so I just wet them on both side before putting in the casserole. But I doubt you can achieve that level of “dryness” making your own pasta.

    I gave my hand-crank roller away because you always needed two people with it. Also, now that I’m in Italy, the grocery store refrigerated cut and filled pastas are pretty amazing! I still have to read labels, some really big brands are compelled to add useless fillers – even here!

    Ohh and let me just say… what a SCORE Greg!!!

    Ciao,

    L

    #31708
    HelenAdams
    Participant

    I too had a manual pasta maker which I could operate by myself. I used it a lot till I went north and then I gave it away. I also used it to make dumpling and har gua wrappers and sometimes even rolled pie dough in it for meat pies if I was making a lot.
    These days I use either store bought fresh or dried pasta. For lasagna I tried the Kenji method or soaking the dried lasagna noodles in water. Worked very good. Didn’t taste or feel different in the end result but I could cut it to size without shards of lasagna noodle flying around.

    Once again I envy you having a Kitchen Aid Mixer. I have a stand mixer and a very good hand mixer but covet a KitchenAid. No room dammit.

    #31712
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thank you. I thought this would be the right place to ask :D

    I too have a hand crank machine taking up space in a cupboard. I stopped using it pretty much as soon as I got it because it was such a pain to use. You needed three people. One to turn the crank. One to feed the dough and the third to hold the thing in place. It had a clamp but it just didn’t grip well on any table or kitchen bench I have ever owned. It will be going to the op shop in the next few weeks.

    The Kitchenaid replaces my old Kenwood that has done me good service over the last few decades. It is just the power cord that has gone, but of course you cannot get parts, and while I could kludge up a connection, 240V in a metal appliance in the kitchen is not a risk I am prepared to take.

    I also got an ice cream maker as part of the Christmas deal. First batch (chocolate) has just gone into the freezer. And I bought a meat mincer/grinder and a pasta extruder ( fusilli, large & small macaroni,spaghetti, bucatini, rigatoni) attachments as well. The thing I’ll miss is the blender. The Kenwood had a high speed take off for that as well as the low speed takeoff for the grinder.

    #31792
    HelenAdams
    Participant

    Which mixer did you buy? I Keep eyeing the Pro. Perhaps sell my giant KitchenAid food processor to make room someday.
    Ravioli is IMO much better home made. I had a metal mold that made bigger squares and a regular size one. I was pretty adventurous with the fillings and while I much care for cheese filled, primavera filled was excellent.

    Nice you got the meat grinder. Did you use it to make your sous vide burgers? My biggest fear with the KitchenAid is that I would probably want all the attachments. Appliance junkies are us.

    #31810
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I bought the KSM155 model. Pretty colour. But it was the extras that pulled me in. I worry a little about its power. 300W. But time will tell and I don’t actually use a mixer that often. By comparison my old Kenwood was 500W and its successor is 1000W. I deliberately didn’t go for the higher powered pedestal version as I knew it wouldn’t fit in the cupboard. As it turned out the same held true for the tilt model. It missed by THAT much. (Hi Max!) Sigh. And as I am looking at switching to solar power, lower power may well be better in my case. As long as it will do the job.

    I am also worried about the claimed 10 speeds. There is a 1…10 label but there are only 6 detents on the speed control. I cannot help thinking they changed the label to keep up with some other brand, but didn’t change the internals at all. In fact it may just be the original 1919 design tarted up.

    The other thing was the label. It says “Assembled in the USA” That probably means they are actually made in China. and just put in the boxes in the USA. Manufacture in China doesn’t worry me. The implied dishonesty does. The Web site claims “Made in USA” but I am more inclined to believe the label on the machine itself.

    No, my burgers were one of the last jobs for the Kenwood. Though it was specifically for them that I bought the attachment. I also grind my own pork for the lasagna. I mostly use 50% beef and 50% pork. The pre ground pork you can get here is incredibly fatty. I usually grind a whole fillet. Which for some reason are quite cheap here.

    #31826
    HelenAdams
    Participant

    My mixer is a Sunbeam Mixmaster. Adequate, but just. Still it fits in the cupboard and is not too heavy to get out. My mother had a Mixmaster but I remember it as being much sturdier.

    Pork is the cheapest meat here these days. As little as 99 cents a lb. Except for ground pork which costs more than the best ground beef or lamb. SO I grind my own. I usually put pork in my burgers as well.

    Kenji has an article in the book I think about ground meat tasting only of the type of fat. Ground beef with pork fat tastes like pork and vice versa. Must try it with chicken as I find ground chicken to be bland usually.

    #31831
    HelenAdams
    Participant

    I looked at the link and it looks quite lovely but was a bit shocked at the price even though I know most things cost more in Australia.

    Still with the 2 attachments included it isn’t that much higher priced and an excellent deal in Australia. I still covet it:)

    #31884
    Anonymous
    Participant

    If it helps, that was recommended retail. Not what I paid. But yes, the Australia Tax can get quite horrendous. But hey it’s a great country otherwise. No need to shovel snow for half the year. No bears to eat you. No nutters with guns. Actually there are a few of them but they are in a decided minority. (Hi guy :P )

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