Turning regular noodles into no-boil noodles

  • I've been told by other that you don't need to boil the noodles for lasagna before you assemble and bake it. They claim that you can just lay them out on the pan raw and assemble as usual and the heat from the oven + the liquid from the sauce is enough to cook the noodles to exactly where they need to be, and you. How true is this? I've heard of other people doing the same thing with home-made mac & cheese recipes, and getting good results. Note that I'm not talking about no-boil noodles, I'm referring to just regular lasagna noodles.

  • Joe

    Joe Correct answer

    7 years ago

    It's true. I've done it quite a few times, before the 'no boil' packaged varieties were commonly available (if they even existed ... this was ~15 years ago)

    Unfortunately, I haven't done it for many years, so I'm quite out of practice. (found out I had a problem with dairy, so lasagne isn't something I make anymore)

    From what I remember, you needed to use more liquid than normal, and make sure that there was a wet layer directly above and below the noodles. You also had a rather long cooking time, to give everything a chance to absorb. (I want to say 350F for 1.5 to 2 hrs, but I generally went with 'til a knife went in easily, then put it under the broiler to get it bubbly)

    I know there are also slow cooker recipes for lasagne that don't requite pre-boiling the noodles ... I'd just look for recipes online, as plenty of them exist. Just look for ones from the 1990s, as that tended to be before companies were selling 'no boil' noodles.

    I took a gander at the recipe box for the no-boil noodles at the store, and nothing in the ingredients list even indicates to me that it's any different from plain noodles; they both say nothing but 'durum wheat semolina' on it.

    @cornjuliox it is not about the ingredients, but about the way in which they are processed. The semolina in no-boil is heated once to gelatinize the starch, and then dried out again, and the retrograded starch has different swelling properties than "raw" starch.

    So the answer is NOT "write no-boil on the packaging" :)

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