home Forums Recipe Swap RECIPE: Making lasagna in the pressure cooker

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  • #14295
    K8sMom2002
    Participant

    An update … I had to buy a new cooktop (gas Kitchenaid) and that has thrown me off my game … The power burners don’t turn down enough, but the simmer burners don’t maintain the temperature. For instance, even though my pressure indicator didn’t go down, my meatloaf wasn’t done … And I cooked it the same way I had the first time, just a different cooktop. But, when I used a different burner, my roast beef scorched a bit on one side.

    Still, I’ve finally found the sweet spot (I think).

    I was NOT blown away by my pressure-cooked pork loin … While it was done, it wasn’t tender. I’ll probably go back to my crockpot for that. But the mushroom gravy was yummy!

    I LOVE Lorna Sass’ bean recipe in Pressure Perfect! Fab beans so quick! No pre-soak needed!

    I’ve also tried her recipe for wild rice mixes (I used Lundberg’s), and her three-cheese Ziti recipe. The ziti turned out a little soupy, but that could have been that I used home-canned tomatoes and not paste tomatoes. Still, it had a MARVELOUS taste!

    And I found this recipe that I want to try …

    http://m.recipe4living.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.recipe4living.com%2Frecipes%2Fpressure_cooker_lasagna.htm

    Anybody tried lasagna? The seven minutes cook time is invitingly seductive!

    #14319
    Laura Pazzaglia
    Keymaster

    I’ve never tried it, but if the texture of pasta is important to you – I can’t see that recipe turning out well. From reading it it looks like the lasagna is “steamed”. In my experience, if you steam pasta it gets tough and rubbery.

    The photo looks very inviting but the recipe does not match it at all – there is no browning step and then there’s the obvious question of how to get a perfect square slice of lasagna out of a round pressure cooker.

    I just want to set your expectations for this recipe before you dive-in and spend money and time on it.

    If you decide to try it, anyway. Let us know how it turned out.

    Ciao,

    L

    #14320
    Laura Pazzaglia
    Keymaster

    P.S. I make my lasagna in the oven – but I make the ragu’ in the pressure cooker!

    #14322
    K8sMom2002
    Participant

    I noticed those problems, too. That’s partly the reason I posted the link … I was wondering if I could do a Bain-Marie type deal with a small oven-safe casserole dish.

    The reason I think it may sort of work is this: I do a no-boil approach with my oven-lasagna. (You’re probably shuddering now!) But after years of having mushy lasagna noodles boiling the noodles first, I tried a recipe off a noodle box. Basically you assemble your lasagna with any uncooked noodle, cover it with aluminum foil and cook it at 350 for 45 minutes. Then you uncover it to brown. The noodles turn out perfectly … Not mushy or rubbery at all.

    Since they are “steamed” in the oven, I figure you could do the same with the PC.

    BUT I agree, there are a multitude of red flags with that recipe as written:

    – the water in direct contact with that first layer of sauce would dilute the sauce.
    – there’s nothing to corral the lasagna.
    – the tomatoes have a high enough sugar content that they might stick and scorch.
    – the first set of noodles might get over-done.
    – a quarter cup of water might not be enough liquid to get my 10-qt Fagor up to steam.
    – there’s no easy way to brown the top.

    That’s why I was pondering a water-bath approach. How much longer do you think I’d need to cook under high pressure to account for a stoneware casserole?

    Because there’s just the three of us and my DH isn’t a fan of Italian foods (how can that BE?? Oh, right, his mother brought him up on Chef Boyardee. :p That would ruin anybody!) I do a half-portion of lasagna with a smallish au gratin dish and six lasagna noodles broken to fit width-wise. It’s an oval approximately 8″ x 5″ in size.

    Even if I had to cook it under pressure for 20 minutes (not likely, right?) it would still cut half the time off my lasagna AND make lasagna a summer-friendly meal because the oven wouldn’t be cranking out heat for an hour.

    Thoughts?

    #14327
    Laura Pazzaglia
    Keymaster

    I don’t have a lot of experience with no-boil lasagna strips. Here, in Italy, they sell refrigerator-stable fresh pasta rectangles to be used for lasagna which can be pre-boiled or not. If not, you’re supposed to wet them under water before layering in the lasagna.

    Making the lasagna bain marie with no-boil strips and a very wet sauce could work – essentially you’re boiling them. If you’re willing to give it a shot.

    If I were going to try it… I would do no-boil noodles for 25 minutes, uncovered container, with natural release and broiler finish.

    I’m going to break this discussion into its own topic so others can easily contribute their experiences with pressure cooker lasagnas.

    Ciao,

    L

    P.S. My cookbook (coming soon ; ) has a “Sloppy Lasagna” recipe which you can make directly in the pressure cooker – without layers.

    #14715
    K8sMom2002
    Participant

    Huzzah! I tried this tonight, and it WORKED!

    I used my regular lasagna recipe, with regular dried noodles (Barilla). I used my small “gratin” dish casserole, which is just perfect for three people.

    I assembled it as usual: covered the bottom with sauce, added 1 lasagna noodle broken in thirds, added sauce, my ricotta/egg/basil/oregano mix, topped that with half of my cheese, a layer of sauce, another layer of a noodle broken in thirds, the rest of my sauce and the rest of my Mozz.

    I used a 10 quart Fagor, and placed the trivet in the bottom with the dish securely atop it. I added a cup to a cup and a half of water, then locked the lid and brought it up to high pressure. I turned it down to low and cooked it for 12 minutes.

    Getting it out was a toughie, but DH helped me with that. Popped it under the broiler to brown it, and voila! Lasagna done! It tasted exactly like the oven kind, where I would cook it for 45 minutes.

    #14716
    K8sMom2002
    Participant

    Oh, an important addition: I used natural release because I wasn’t confident in my ability not to spill the contents of the casserole into the PC during a quick release under cold water. So that’s why I went with just a 12 minute cook time. It didn’t take long for it to release, either. Noodles were PERFECT … Not mushy, not tough … Just right.

    #14720
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thank you . Good to know.
    I have been thinking of converting my “for Lasgna” ragu to PC, but to go the whole way in the PC… Awesome. Trouble is I don’t have a suitable dish that will fit in the PC.

    Thinks: Maybe a round lasagna.

    BTW I use the Barilla lasagna sheets too. One of the better dried pasta manufacturers in my opinion.

    #14721
    K8sMom2002
    Participant

    It might be worth investing in a dish that would fit … If your sauce is already made, you can literally go from ingredients to lasagna in less than a half hour if you don’t broil the top — and really, it looked good enough to eat coming straight out of the PC.

    The only thing I need to figure out is some sort of trivet/rack that would allow me to pick up that smokin’ hot dish without spilling it.

    I make my sauce ahead of time and freeze it. I’ve also made a canning cookbook recipe and canned it in pints, but that recipe doesn’t allow you to use zucchini and carrots in the sauce. I have to say, it was yummy good, and that was probably the LAST time I will ever crank up my oven to make lasagna again. Thank you, PC!

    #14722
    Laura Pazzaglia
    Keymaster

    Well.. you just reminded me that I should start a series of tips featuring more key details – like a foil sling!

    foil sling for bain marie

    This is a picture I took years ago with my first pressure cooker – will take up-dated pictures now since in a couple of recipes I’m making a dessert bain marie and turn it into a tip!

    Ciao,

    L

    #14744
    K8sMom2002
    Participant

    Yay! That would be super helpful … Would you care to have my complete recipe so you can test it out?

    #14746
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I’m not comfortable using all that foil in one go. Yes to the cover. No to the sling. However, I do much the same thing with a tea towel. There are also Indian pots with a lid and folding handle. I think they are called “tiffin pans”. Though mine were actually made in Thailand. I used to use them camping. I have used them successfully in the PC.

    #14752
    K8sMom2002
    Participant

    Greg, Fagor has a silicone baking dish with a rack that might interest you. Not sure how to do the link here, but just google Fagor pressure cooker baking dish. I’m not sure how the silicone would work — I understand it’s not a very good conductor of heat for browning in a conventional oven. But the rack looks super useful.

    And what would be your concern with using the aluminum foil?

    #14753
    K8sMom2002
    Participant

    Oh, Laura, a question: I need to make a small lasagna for a family that just had a baby, and of course I want to do it quick in the PC. Could I use a disposable aluminum loaf pan to assemble the lasagna, rather than in my treasured gratin dish?

    #14870
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi guys,
    I’ve read the thread and found it interesting. Can we really make lasagna out of a pressure cooker. If then, what do you think is the best brand of cooker i should use? Thanks for advise! God bless and Good morning!!

    #14871
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Can some give me the procedureson how to do it?? the lasagna using pressure cooker. Thanks again.

    #14874
    K8sMom2002
    Participant

    Yep, I really, really did make lasagna in the PC. :)

    Here’s my recipe from memory … Forgive the inexact measurements.

    1 jar (26 oz or so) of your favorite pasta sauce or equivalent amount of homemade marinara (I make my own and freeze it, but back when I made mini-lasagnas with bought sauce, one small jar was enough).

    1/2 short carton of ricotta cheese (8 oz carton, I think)

    1/2 tsp or to taste dried basil and oregano.

    Pinch salt.

    1 egg, beaten

    1/2 lb bulk Italian sausage

    2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

    2-3 lasagna noodles

    In a saucepan (Not PC), brown sausage and add sauce. Heat to a bubble.

    In a bowl, combine ricotta, egg, salt and spices in a bowl.

    In a small gratin dish, roughly 5×8 inches, ladle a thin layer of sauce and cover bottom of dish.

    Break one regular noodle in thirds and arrange crosswise across the dish. (As though they were mini noodles)

    Cover with another layer of sauce.

    Spread entire layer of ricotta mix onto sauce.

    Sprinkle half of the mozzarella onto the ricotta layer.

    Ladle another thin coat of sauce over Mozz/ricotta layer.

    Break another noodle into thirds and place atop sauce layer.

    Ladle remaining sauce over noodles, spreading to cover. Sprinkle remaining cheese over sauce.

    If you have a taller dish, you can parcel out your sauce and mozzarella and use a third noodle or use more sauce.

    The important thing is to cover the noodles with sauce.

    Place trivet in bottom of PC (I have a 10 qt Fagor Futuro), then create a sling as pictured in Laura’s post above. In the sling and on the trivet, carefully place gratin dish. Roll aluminum foil down to avoid blocking vent. Carefully add to bottom of PC 1 1/2 cups of water.

    Lock lid, bring to high pressure and cook for 12 minutes. Use natural release. Use sling to remove gratin dish. If desired, place uncovered under broiler to brown top … 2 minutes on high max.

    This is a MINI-lasagna, but it still makes enough for one meal. With a salad and bread, this serves 3 man-sized hungry people or 4 regular people with a bit leftover for lunch the next day. ENJOY!

    #15079
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hey guys!! my friend refers me a website about pressure cooker, can someone see it and give me some feedbacks also?

    [redacted suspected SPAM link]

    #15083
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I had a quick look at the site. It seems very poor — just a sales site pretending to give reviews while in fact trying to get you to buy using their links. The “reviews” are just marketing hype.

    It contains errors of fact, poor/wrong advice and adds nothing worthwhile to the information you can find freely here.

    For example:
    “2. If you live at a higher height above sea level, then you have to add about ten to fifteen minutes more to your cooking time. This is to ensure your meals are well cooked. Water will take more time to boil at higher altitude, therefore expect your cooking time to take more time than usual.”

    I should add 10 to 15 minutes to a 1 minute cook for broccoli? Whether I am at 100m or 10000m above sea level? Really?
    AND water takes less time to boil at altitude. Not more. Water boils at a LOWER temperature at high altitude. So it takes less time to get there.
    Whoever wrote this has no idea how a pressure cooker works. Or even basic physics. Steer well clear.

    #19536
    veeezeee
    Participant

    Quick question,
    Are we talking “no boil” lasagne or regular noodles and just not boiling them? Looks like a good way to cook lasagne! Thanks
    Vicki

    #19539
    K8sMom2002
    Participant

    Regular pasta … I use Barilla lasagna noodles. It’s tricky to break them to fit in the smaller dish, but I figure no one can see if they wind up a little irregular. ;)

    #19549
    HelenAdams
    Participant

    I made 8 individual lasagna using 3×4″ pans. I cooked 6 in the oven and two in the pressure cooker. 50 minutes oven and 8 minutes pressure cooker.
    The oven ones were slightly overcooked (probably because they were small), not burnt, just a smidge dryer than I prefer.

    The pressure cooker ones were perfect. I prefer my cheese gooey, not browned, but if I wanted browned I would have popped the pressure cooker ones under a broiler for a minute.

    Next time I will freeze them uncooked and see what happens.

    A nice thing about the electric pressure cooker is that you can do experimental cooking with minimum time and energy usage. I hate turning on my oversized oven to cook a single portion.

    Helen

    #19761
    JudyP
    Participant

    Do you think this recipe would work with gluten-free pasta?

    #19763
    momowack
    Participant

    Greg, here is a square pan that might work in the 6X6X4 inch size: http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Daddios-Anodized-Aluminum-8-Inch-Square/dp/B00132SQB4/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1422388270&sr=1-1&keywords=fat+daddios+square+cake+pans#customerReviews

    If you are using the Instant Pot the insert bowl is approximately 8 inches across. (I have some 6 and 7 inch round Fat-Daddios that I’ve used in there) Don’t see why a 6 inch square wouldn’t work. 4 inches would make a nice deep lasagna. These pans are aluminum but they are anodized non-reactive.

    **The way I do my noodles:
    Right before assembly, I use regular lasagna noodles and dunk them individually one at a time into boiling salted water just until they start to bend, then place them on a large Silpat in single file to keep them from sticking. (parchment will do..) They are easy to cut and shape as they don’t snap and break. By the time the lasagna is done they are perfectly cooked and not overdone…just the way we like them. I’ve tried the no-boil and don’t care for them nearly as much as the real deal, but that’s me.

    #33600
    swtgran
    Participant

    I plan to try lasagna in the PC. I was wondering if it might work out to use the largest springform pan that fits appropriately in the PC? I would wrap the outside bottom of the pan with foil, and use a sling and trivet.

    #33601
    K8sMom2002
    Participant

    It might. The trick is not the size or type of pan, but keeping it out of the water beneath it. As long as it’s on a trivet and covered in foil, and your noodles fit, it should work.

    The only problems I can foresee are 1) Your sauce may leak out of your springform pan.
    2) If it’s a tight fit, it’s going to be seriously hard to get the lasagna out of the pressure cooker. I use the sling to get mine out.

    Let me know how it works!

    #33602
    swtgran
    Participant

    Decided I wanted pasta tonight. Thought I would just cook it in the PC.

    Well, I thought I had some ricotta that needed used… not. Sauce was made and it was getting late. What to do? I decided to make a béchamel sauce with a scraping of fresh nutmeg.

    I sprayed my stove top B/R/K, added just enough water to barely cover the bottom of the pan, maybe less than 1/4th cup. I then began layering as you would any lasagna, ending with sauce and sprinkling of parm.

    When it came to pressure, I lowered the temp to the lowest amount needed to maintain pressure, for 6 min., then allowed the pressure to release naturally.

    Once I could remove the lid, I topped with mozzarella and put the lid back on. It was the only mozzarella I used. The béchamel, makes a great cheese substitute, and is rarely noticed as no cheese.

    Evaluation? Technique, worked great. Béchamel instead of ricotta, no problem what so ever. Sauce is one I would switch. Meat would go. Just a taste preference.

    All in all, I would change the ingredients, not the technique. Fast, easy supper.

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