Social Question

sevenfourteen's avatar

Can I prepare my lasagna for tonight this morning?

Asked by sevenfourteen (2414 points ) January 22nd, 2011

so tonight is my last night at home before returning back to college for my final undergrad semester (yay!). And I plan on making lasagna for my bf and my family however I have to meet a friend to run some errands later and won’t get back in time to make the lasagna in time for dinner. I have all the time this morning to make it, so would it be ok to prepare it this morning and put it in the fridge to cook later? I don’t want the noodles to go hard or anything but I don’t want to rush making it later. Thanks!

(this is also my first time making lasagna, so general tips are welcome as well)

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

61 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

Yes, you can make it this morning, cover it with foil in the fridge, then reheat later.

nebule's avatar

Lasagna is one of my specialities… :-) I would make the mince part of the meal now… then just build it up later, with the cheese sauce and lasagne. You could make it now as @JilltheTooth says but it might make the lasagne go a bit soggy….

I would also add a little nutmeg to your cheese sauce and over the top of the cheese topping… :-) I like sweetcorn in my lasagne and a touch of balsamic vinegar… (I soak beef tomatoes in it before adding them to the mince…)

partyparty's avatar

Yes you can make it now.
I have even cooked my lasagna ahead of time, then just reheated it when needed, covered in foil until the last ten minutes, then get it nicely coloured up.
Just make sure it isn’t going too dry, that would be a disaster.

john65pennington's avatar

If you are not dead-set on making the lasagna yourself, here is a suggestion. Stouffers has the best frozen lasagna in the world. it comes in a huge family-size container and is really good. you can cook it frozen, right out of the carton and no one will ever know the difference, except you.

Pick one up on the way to work and stash it in your cars trunk. at the end of the day, it will be partially thawed and the cooking time will be almost cut in half.

If this suggestion is not possible, then make your lasagna this morning and cover it and place it in the fridge. it will be perfectly okay and ready for you to bake tonight. good luck.

sevenfourteen's avatar

@nebule – I didn’t think of making the pieces and just putting it together after, that may be a good idea.
@john65pennington – I’ve made those before and although they’re delicious I’m definitely making this one myself, I really enjoy making new foods and the satisfaction of everyone enjoying a good dinner. Scores me brownie points :) and I don’t have to do the dishes!

CaptainHarley's avatar

Most assuredly! Lasagna tastes even better after it sits awhile. How do I get an invite over? : D

Thammuz's avatar

@nebule cheese sauce

What the fuck?

jca's avatar

Put it together and refrigerate. Bake later.

Be sure to have some good bread and salad. A salad tip: make sure the salad is cold. Salt it while it’s in the big salad bowl. Trust me, those two things will have everyone saying “This salad is really good.”

A tip- dry the noodles with paper towels, otherwise they will be slippery and everything else will slide all over.

What’s for dessert?

Thammuz's avatar

@jca noodles

Again what?

filmfann's avatar

One of the miracles of Lasagna is that it is better the next day.
Cook it now, reheat it tonight.

and remember to put in some hard boiled egg slices.

blueiiznh's avatar

Good Lasagna is a passion and part of my family holiday and celebrations. I use an old family recipe. The red gravy is also an old family recipe.
I am unsure of what your kind is.
In your situation i agree with @nebule and have all the items ready for your creation later.
It usually cooks a bit over an hour and then about 15 minutes standing time.
Not knowing your recipe for specifics, have all the items ready for creating it later.
That said, the longest part of the create time is boiling your noodles (unless you made fresh :D).
For mine, I make the red gravy the day before, have the meat, cheeses, etc all ready.
If you are boiling your noodles, only boil them half way as they will cook in the oven fine.
General Tips:
Depending on the cheeses you are using, get the freshest, highest grade ones you can. I use fresh mozzarella and romano and when possible buy them at places other than grocery stores. Don’t skimp on the cheese. For a roasting pan of mine I use 2 lbs Mozz, 1 pound romano.
Noodle quality makes an incredible different. Not many people are into making their own, but if you want to taste a difference, try some imported noodles.
For a meat lasagna, I make homemade italian meatballs (ground pork, veal, beef) and crumble it into the layers.
Have a good loaf of Italian Bread (Garlic or not) warmed as well. Crushed red pepper available for those who want to kick up the spice.

Let us know how it comes out!

now i am craving a good piece of it

jca's avatar

wondering what is wrong with the word “noodle.”

Thammuz's avatar

@jca that lasagna isn’t made with noodles!

john65pennington's avatar

Sevenfourteen. you go girl. this was just a suggestion. lady cooks are sometimes hard to find. you are the exception. make it this morning and fridge it till its cooking time. save me a piece.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Thammuz

What did you think it was made with, cardboard??

janbb's avatar

I make it ahead of time most of the time. Cover with foil and refrigerate. Reheat in a 300–325 oven for about 30 minutes with the foil on. You can take the foil off the last 10 minutes if you want it a little drier. Any leftovers can be frozen and reheated and will be fine too.

MagicalMystery's avatar

@Thammuz: don’t be pretentious. In this country the word noodle is interchangeable with the word pasta.

Vincentt's avatar

Haha I could indeed only think of this when it comes to noodles. Learned something again today :)

Thammuz's avatar

@CaptainHarley pasta =/= noodles

@MagicalMystery Do you see me giving a shit about your country? Besides, the term lasagna means both the finished product and the kind of pasta one should use for it. Furthermore Noodles are not necessarily italian pasta, they can be soy noodles, rice noodles and so on, which means the term is misused.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Yes.
What time is dinner? :)

jca's avatar

@Thammuz : @MagicalMystery, @blueiiznh, @CaptainHarley and I are going to gang up on you and beat you with a wet noodle!

Thammuz's avatar

@jca Bring it on, i have an arsenal of different kinds of pasta!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Count me in @jca! I got some frozen noodles ready to go!!

Another thought for another time….you can get small foil loaf pans and make several individual servings and just freeze them for later. Lasagna. With EXTRA cheeses! Oh, yum! You’re killin’ me! I better go now!

filmfann's avatar

on google, I got 346,000 hits for lasagna noodles

Dutchess_III's avatar

Hm. OK. @Thammuz do you REALLY want to know what we all in this heah neck of th’ woods call noodles? Red neck crazy persons from Oklahoma

Kardamom's avatar

You don’t even have to pre-boil the lasagna noodles. You can get all of your ingredients ready (ahead of time) and then start layering the dried noodles, meats and veggies and cheese and sauce when you are ready to cook the whole thing. After you have all of your layers (except for the top layer of cheese) pour 1 cup of hot water over the whole thing, so that the water seeps all down and around (just make sure your pan is big enough to hold everything). Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Then un-cover, add the last layer of shredded mozzarella cheese and bake until it is melted.

If you want to try a totally vegetarian lasagna, I made a really great one with 3 separate layers of different veggies: mushrooms, orange colored cauliflower and kale. And instead of ricotta cheese, I used a low fat cottage cheese (from which I drained most of the whey to make it thicker). It was nice and tangy.

I agree with some of the others that you could make the whole thing, cook it (minus the last 20 or 30 minutes or so) pop it covered with foil in the fridge and re-heat the whole thing right before dinner.

jca's avatar

@filmfann: GA to you! :)

Arbornaut's avatar

Lasagna gets better and better the longer you leave it, 4 days is optimal i reckon.

blueiiznh's avatar

@Thammuz @jca This is not a question about the term noodle vs pasta. Nor a critique about recipes. Post that question if you wish. lets stay on topic and help the OP.

tranquilsea's avatar

I have a confession: I don’t boil my noodles. I make my sauce a tad more watery than usual and then layer the uncooked noodles with all the layers. As the cooking process is an hour the noodles have tons of times to soak up all the moisture they need.

I make my lasagnas in one big batch and then toss them in the freezer for “I don’t want to cook” nights.

Bellatrix's avatar

I would agree with cooking the meat and putting it together later but now I want Nebule’s and blueiiznh’s lasagne recipes! Good luck with your meal sevenfourteen. I hope it turns out beautifully and you have a good semester at college. Making your family a meal is an act filled with love I think.

Thammuz's avatar

@blueiiznh there’s been what, ten replies all stating the answer OP wanted? I’d say we’ve more than absolved our duty. Plus this question has a clear expiration date so who cares if we derail it now?

jca's avatar

So @sevenfourteen, how did it turn out? what did you serve with it? any changes you would do differently next time?

nebule's avatar

oh @Thammuz tut tut tut… you need some cheese sauce ;-) x

Thammuz's avatar

@nebule that’s probably the wrongest thing i’ve ever heard. This is the only sauce that goes in lasagnas

sevenfourteen's avatar

@john65pennington thanks :)

@jca – I didn’t boil the noodles before, the recipe I had called for me to soak them in some hot water for 20ish minutes before layering and although they still came out the noodles were slightly harder than I’d hoped.. I also tend not to use an actual timer so this may also have been why. Everyone loved it though and I even got some compliments on the noodles (apparently my mother likes them on the firm side).

I ended up making the sauce in the morning and then making the rest, layering and baking it at night. I let the sauce simmer for 1½ hrs so I left it on the stove in the pot until I could finish the recipe since it was so hot, and it was fine. I also made a quick salad and had a really good garlic bread to go with it and finished off with chocolate chip/butterscotch/white chocolate/walnut cookies that my mom requested.

@everyone- thanks for the input. I’m glad I pulled it off and I will def use the comments for future lasagnas.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Question has been moved to Social.

nebule's avatar

@Thammuz Wow… the wrongest thing you’ve ever heard? It clearly isn’t the only sauce that goes into lasagnas because it goes into mine….

partyparty's avatar

@nebule @Thammuz Yes and cheese sauce goes into mine….. delicious :)))

Dutchess_III's avatar

Cheese sauce?? What happened to regular cheese: Cinderella, cottage cheese and…all those other cheeses? There are like 6 of them. What kind of cheese “sauce” are you guys referring to?

Thammuz's avatar

@nebule @partyparty Correction: the only sauce that goes into lasagnas if you make them properly. Besides, I am the Italian here! I have the last word, goddammit!

blueiiznh's avatar

@Thammuz I am Sicilian here and as all good Italians know, there are many family recipes. The use of the word “proper recipe” sounds English. I love the fact there is no right or wrong in cooking. It is an art and all that matters is that they enjoyed it.

nebule's avatar

I just wanted to thank those that have said having cheese sauce in my lasagne is OK because I’m having a pretty rough day and as trivial as it sounds I needed to hear that right now x What is it with people who want to squash creativity???

That said… @Thammuz I want to thank you also for educating me as I didn’t actually know that traditionally it would be made with a béchamel sauce

@Dutchess_III if you click on @Thammuz ‘s link in the above post…you will see what I mean by Cheese Sauce… basically a béchamel sauce with cheese added….erm… what’s Cinderella Cheese??? :-/

Thammuz's avatar

@blueiiznh in case you don’t get it: i’m joking, i know there are different recipies, i was just playing the snob

blueiiznh's avatar

@Thammuz oh i got it. glad you cracked first ! touche’

nebule's avatar

this is just weird now… @Thammuz who are you kidding! ;-)

Thammuz's avatar

@nebule it’s just that i always hear Italians (and others) going to the US and ALWAYS complaining about American cuisine: how fat it is, how badly it imitates European cuisine, etc, and i wanted to play into the stereotype. That’s not to say that i don’t think lasagnas should contain only Bechamel sauce, tomato sauce, minced meat and mozzarella ;-)

jca's avatar

@Thammuz: don’t forget the noodles ;)

Thammuz's avatar

@jca on a side note, Italians call lasagna only the one made with the traditional rectangular sheets, if you actually use another kind of pasta, like noodles (which you can, it just turns out completely different) it’s called “pasta al forno” which means oven-cooked pasta

blueiiznh's avatar

@Thammuz love how you tried to baffle us with BS

Thammuz's avatar

@blueiiznh you mean with the whole “pasta al forno” thing? Because that was honest (at least that’s what they call it in Milan and Rome.)

nebule's avatar

I just love the fact that we’re still talking about one of my favourite subjects… @Thammuz : you are as sweet as the cheese that goes into my sauce… oh wait no.. I mean…. the sugar that I add to to the balsamic tomatoes… ok…I know I’ve taken it too far now… but I’m a little drunk :-)

Thammuz's avatar

@nebule the sugar that I add to to the balsamic tomatoes…

That actually sounds damn good, in a twisted kind of way!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oooohhhh @nebule yes! Now I see! And I always wondered what that stuff was!

nebule's avatar

:o) xx

Vincentt's avatar

I made a delicious spinach lasagna tonight for 8 persons, and incorporated some of the tips here, so thanks everybody. I even managed to get the bechamel sauce right, even though I’d never seen one, so hooray!

augustlan's avatar

Now I want lasagna again.

janbb's avatar

—@augustlan I just made a pan – have some!

blueiiznh's avatar

mmmm I am now craving some. Looks like I will be making sauce on Sat, Lasagna Sunday! mmm

nebule's avatar

I’ve not made a lasagna for a while… next weekend me thinks! x

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther