Can You Make Lasagna With Raw Dough?

by Maya Silver

    Using freshly made pasta in lasagna takes this classic Italian dish to a whole new level. The rich taste and decadent texture of the fresh egg pasta make an incredible foundation for the flavors of the sauce and cheese. The short answer to whether you can make lasagna with raw dough is yes, but the long answer is that you're better off boiling the sheets of pasta for superior texture.

    It's perfectly safe to use raw dough in your lasagna and the final product will be edible. But when you don't pre-cook or at least dry the pasta sheets, they will become mushy from the sauce and melted cheese as the lasagna bakes. If you make the effort to make lasagna noodles from scratch, you might as well add the extra step of boiling them to ensure they end up with an al dente texture.

    After you've prepared the pasta dough, flattened it using a pasta maker and cut it to the appropriate size, fill a large pot three-quarters full of water. Bring the water to a boil, salt it heavily, and carefully add your fresh pasta sheets. Do not crowd the pot -- cook a few sheets at a time for one or two minutes each. Carefully remove the pasta from the pot and lay out the sheets on a greased baking sheet. Your pasta is now ready to use. If you've bought fresh pasta, boil the sheets just before putting the lasagna together.

    If you'd rather not boil your lasagna pasta sheets, you can also dry them after making them on a drying rack or on the dowel of a wooden spoon. Let them dry for one to three hours until the pasta is firm and dry, but not brittle. Store them in an airtight container until you're ready to use them.

    You can also freeze pasta dough. Lay out the pasta dough in a single layer and freeze it. Once frozen, you can group the pasta sheets together in a single container or bag in the freezer to save space. Both drying and freezing the raw dough will help it hold up to the sauce and cheese in lasagna.

    About the Author

    Maya Silver is an editor at DiningOut Magazines. She is the author of "My Parent Has Cancer And It Really Sucks" and has written for "U.S. News & World Report," the "Washington Post Express" and local newspapers and magazines. She has helped hundreds of homes make energy improvements. Her culinary knowledge stems from professional and personal cooking experience.

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