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January 18, 2009

Lasagne noodles (Recipe: four-cheese lasagne) {vegetarian}

Lasagne1

Lasagne noodles with an "e", or lasagna noodles with an "a"?

I have both in my pantry.

Is one right, and the other wrong?

Yes, and no.

The Barilla box says lasagne with an "e"; the Dreamfields box says lasagna with an "a". Barilla is made in Italy, Dreamfields in North Dakota. I have to believe that the Barilla folks know more about this.

Lasagna

Lasagna means one noodle; lasagne means more than one. In America, it's common to use lasagna, and that's what I've been doing for my entire life, until now. The evidence against it is overwhelming. Not only does the Barilla box make a bold statement, but also my casserole dish from England, which is closer to Italy than North Dakota, spells out lasagne.

I've been blind, but now I see.

Lasagne2

Barilla noodles are flat, thin, and no-boil, meaning you can use them straight from the box. (De Cecco and Ronzoni also make no-boil noodles; the Ronzoni noodles are accordion-shaped, for no reason I can figure out.) Dreamfields -- thicker, with curly edges -- are low on the glycemic index, which means they can be part of my low-carb diet more often, though they do need to be par-boiled before use.

Use either noodle, par-boiled, to wrap herb ricotta or artichoke cannelloni, or for eggplant and pine nut rolled lasagne. Use no-boil noodles for pans of lasagne, filled with butternut squash, bolognese sauce, roasted vegetables, spinach-walnuts-arugula, turkey, or chocolate meat sauce.

The noodles -- made of durum wheat semolina, egg, water and salt -- will keep for a couple of years in the pantry; if you have a partial box left over, seal it in a ziploc bag.

By the way, the only difference between no-boil and most regular lasagne noodles is thickness.

Four-cheese lasagne

A real crowd pleaser, this recipe is a slight variation on my traditional lasagne, lightened with the addition of cottage cheese, and made a hefty four layers thick. Can be frozen uncooked; defrost and bake at 375F. Or can be cooked ahead and frozen; reheat, covered, in a 350F oven. Serves 8-10, with a side salad.

Ingredients

16 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
8 oz low-fat cottage cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground black pepper
16 lasagne noodles (no-cook or par-boiled)
4 cups marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)
30 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1-1/4 cups grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine ricotta, cottage cheese, egg, nutmeg and black pepper in a small bowl. In a 9x13 baking pan, begin the assembly: spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom. Top with a layer of the noodles (you may need to break or cut some to fit them neatly in one layer), then plops of the cheese mix here and there (use 1/3 of the cheese). Add plops of sauce here and there (use 1/3 of the sauce), top with a layer of 1/3 of the mozzarella slices. Then again: noodles, ricotta mixture, sauce, mozzarella. Then a third time. Finally, add a fourth layer of noodles, and spread the remaining sauce on the noodles. Top with the parmesan cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover, and bake 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and allow lasagne to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:

Buddy Lasagna
Tex-Mex penne
Pasta with slow-roasted tomatoes
Pasta puttanesca
Spicy peanut noodles

Comments

I was going to check in my pantry to see which way it was spelled, but as I scrolled down I saw that box of Barilla. That is the only kind of lasagna noodles that I will use. My family loves them.

Our oldest has left the nest and with one less person (not that she ate *that* much) I can make an 8X8 pan instead of a 13X9 pan.

I always make 3 8X8 pans at a time. One for dinner and two for the freezer.

L ~ I would love another cookbook. :) I have so many favorites. My current favorites are the freezer cooking recipe books.

K

I never knew, nor had I ever noticed, that people spelled lasagne in different ways. I'm kind of embarrassed! But given your logical presentation of evidence, I can see that I now have to change my ways too. Thanks for the new tidbit of trivia that I can now bore my co-workers with!

I am hooked on the Barilla no boil lasagne noodles. Making lasagne isn't such a production anymore. Yea!

Happy Birthday to You~I have 7 cookbooks. I guess that isn't very many, but they are well used and loved. Three are vegetarian, since we have been eating less and less meat lately. That has been an exciting and interesting path to follow. (I'd still like to have a good steak or pork chop from time to time!)

C in O

I did not know this--and I can't think of a better way to spend this cold, snowy Sunday then by making a batch of lasagna, er, lasagne.

That looks so good!

I have always wondered about that, too. I always though the noodles (uncooked) were lasagne and the cooked dish, lasagna. OK...now they BOTH look weird to me!!! ;) How does Garfield spell it?

Yummy looking recipe and I, too, love the Barilla noodles. A little trick I read in Cook's Illustrated magazine is to soak them in warm water for 5 minutes before using. Not sure if it makes a lot of difference, but it helps when layering.

About the two different spellings...I remember reading somewhere that one is singular and one plural. I think lasagna is singular. I'm not sure how that equates to what it's called when assembled, but I do know when I've searched for recipes using Google, when I put in lasagne, which I've always called it, Google asks if I mean lasagna. I've also noticed that my older recipes are more likely to be lasagne and the newer ones lasagna.

By any name, it's good eating.

MMMMMMMM. Sounds delicious. I haven't made lasagna (that's how I always spell it) in years. I think it's time to rectify that.

That lasagnE would please this crowd and that is no easy feat!

It's ok Lydia you can make one spelled with an "a" and the other spelled with an "e", I'll eat both and ask for more please.

That looks so good! And I love, love, love the dish!

Did I hear 4 cheeses? Yum yum..
Looks so easy to make...just need to get/stock 4 cheeses at the same time which is the most difficult task.

That lasagna looks so yummy. That is such a good idea the first commenter made about making them 8x8 and freezing them I think I will try that next time.

Kristianna, Tara: Great idea to make multiple smaller pans and freeze some!

Ann, I never noticed, either. Isn't that funny?

C in O, you're probably using 100 percent of your 7 cookbooks, which is far better than I'm doing with mine!

Lisa, agreed -- this snowy day would be perfect for lasagne. (It's 10:30 at night, and still snowing here in RI.)

Bridget, good question....

Nan, I really take the no-boil instruction literally, and I love how convenient these noodles are. If you soaked them for a few minutes, you'd be able to do the rolled pasta dishes with them.

Alishajoy, after a lasagne absence of so many years, you might find this version truly delightful.

Aimee, not to brag, but I've yet to find someone who did not love this lasagne!

MyKitchen, I'll do that if you promise to come and help me eat them. Wouldn't that be fun?

Pam, the dish comes from Emma Bridgewater Pottery in London. I love it, too.

Tigerfish, we are such cheese hounds in my family that there are always multiple cheese on hand. And this is definitely so easy to make.

"Oodles of Noodles" sounds like I diet I was once on ... I love lasagna, or lasagne no matter how you spell it. And, I recently discovered that you can use "classic" boil-first lasagna noodles successfully without boiling if you layer the lasagne the day before and let it "mature" in the refrigerator overnight.

Sounds like a wonderful version of lasagna (and I must spell it with an "a" because you know I'm a Dreamfields person! And btw, I have used the Dreamfields noodles without boiling, but you need a bit more liquid in the sauce.

I love lasagne (and lasagna)! Pretty much anything that combines pasta + sauce + cheese is right up my alley!

Great lasagna :-) And Happy Birthday !!!

That lasagna/lasagne thing has always confused me. I understand that lasagne is the plural but to me the plural of lasagna means more than one pan of it!

Your lasagna/lasagne looks delicious -- and makes me look forward to the rest of Oodles of Noodles Week!

And thanks for the link.

Looks like a great recipe. No-bake lasagne is the basis for more of my "clean the freezer" recipes. Bits of beans, cheese, veggies, stray tomato sauce (or pesto, mole, or salsa) all find their way!

Your lasagna looks amazing. I was going to make Salisbury Steak tonight for dinner but I find myself suddenly craving lasagna. Go figure after reading your blog?? Thanks for sharing.

Happy belated birthday, Lydia. Thanks for posting this--I love noodle recipes!

oooo, yes! I have the fixings in the freezer, I like to add a pkg of chopped spinach to the mix. thanks again

I love lasagna!!! I make "roll-ups"; that means 4 in a loaf pan; 2 to eat and to as a "planned-over". I'm sure I can adapt this luscious recipe.

I have never successfully made the no cook lasagne noodles lasagne but may have to try again using this recipe! Love Oodles of Noodles - I wanted to open a noodle shop with that name. I can't wait to see what you have next for us!

Oh my! It's not breakfast time anymore and clearly not lunch time yet but I'd give a pretty penny for a piece of this lasagne dish! Absolutely gorgeous and delicious Lydia!

It looks absolutely delicious, wow, love all that cheese!

love lasagne...and with 4 cheese(s) how can you go wrong!

I never thought of using nutmeg in lasagna, but I'll have to try it out. Thanks for the recipe!

Well I like to make my rolled pasta from scratch but the recipe I have makes much more then I can eat so I am always on the lookout for recipies that I can use up the pasta, so I am really happy to add this one.
Usually one recipe of pasta will make 1 of the 4 cheese Lasagna (or is it not lasagne at this point) 12 servings of stuffed manicotti(which I freeze) and 2 servings of linguine with the sauce of my choice.
I too use Barilla brand for all my extruded pasta and the really small stuff. I did have a machine to make it fresh but it ended up being more trouble then it was worth.

Lydia - I love lasagna. Yours looks good! Have you been able to find whole wheat lasagna noodles?

What a great dinner! When it's my birthday I always have to cook my special birthday dinner myself, and I think I may cook lasagna this year. It's my 40th you know...
Also, wanted to tell you about my favorite cookbooks: Donna Hay cookbooks are amazing and beautifully photographed. I find her recipes quite tasty and remind me of when I lived in England (even though she's in Australia). I constantly use my Betty Crocker Cookbook from 1964, it's got some busy recipes, but everything is so old fashioned and filled with butter and Crisco.

I just started to cook lasagna and I love it... I didn't notice the difference in spelling until I read your post ;p

Interesting to learn the difference. Either with and a or an e you make it look really good.

TW and Kalyn, thanks to you both for the tip about using regular noodles with a bit of extra sauce. I'm going to try that with my stash of Dreamfields lasagne noodles.

Maris, Noble Pig, Veron: There is no such thing as too much cheese!

Babeth, Deena: thanks for the birthday greetings. I love birthdays that go on and on.

Julie, Noobcook, Peabody: I figured out that lasagne and lasagna taste just the same, and both are delicious!

Mary, your concoctions with odds and ends from the freezer and fridge always inspire me.

Gin, Tartelette: Lasagne is a real craving food for me, especially on cold winter days like today.

Bev, Pauline, Kim: Love your variations on the theme.

HB, the secret to success is to use enough sauce to moisten the noodles without drowning the lasagne. This recipe uses a small amount of sauce for the amount of noodles, but I make sure to spread it all the way to the edges so the moisture gets into the noodles as they cook.

Katie, I don't know why, but the little bit of nutmeg makes a difference, and I always add it with the cheese filling in any type of lasagne I'm making.

Sarah, thanks for sharing your cookbook favorites. And please do treat yourself to a cheese-y lasagne for your birthday!

I use the no-cook ones all the time...never failed me and from the looks of things, your lasagne did you well too!

Lydia, thank you for reminding me I haven't made lasagna in ages! That photo is just what I needed. ;)

I love that pan...where did you get it? So pretty.
I haven't made this dish in a while, and now I must after this food porn picture LOL!

"I've been blind, but now I see..." too funny!

I've always used lasagna too (I'll blame it on my Midwest upbringing), but now I see. Lasagne---yes, it makes a world of difference!

I make a killer homemade lasagne which contains cottage cheese as well. It's to-die-for, and a recipe that's been handed down from generation to generation.

That said, I have to go check out your link to chocolate meat sauce. I am thoroughly intrigued!

my roommate just told me about a friend who put cottage cheese in her lasagne. recently she put cream cheese in. apparently it was amazing. the last two lasagne i made needed a lot more cheese.

right now i'm just getting into the whole cookbook thing. the one i'm using predominantly is cooking light's annual recipe book from 1993. the plan is to buy another one with a birthday gift certificate.

Love lasagne. You found a way to make it look so pretty and appealing. Nice twist with the nutmeg.

I made this recipe and have but one word for it: YUM!

I used the last of my homemade-from-the-garden sauce, frozen from last summer. Just the right amounts of chese. The only thing I added was some fresh Italian parsley to the cottage cheese mixture, plus some fresh basil to the sauce.

Thanks for the great recipe! Very easy!

I do not like "no boil lasagne,,,lanagna or any type of no boil noodes.
I'm always used the par boiled type, as I like to layer it thick,and for me a 100% better.
THANKS
Carl Hodson

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