Can lasagna be put
together one day, and cooked the next?
Lasagna is a perfect make-ahead meal. You can certainly
make it one day, and bake it the next, providing you
store it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly
with plastic wrap. It also stands up to freezing quite
well, so you can make it, freeze it, and bake it at your
What does 'al
One of the biggest no-no's in pasta
preparation is overcooking. Don't do it! Take a cue from
the Italians, and boil your pasta until it's 'al dente,'
which means 'to the tooth.' In other words, it should be
tender but slightly firm to the bite. The longer you
cook pasta, the mushier it gets. Don't rely on the clock
to evaluate doneness.
My husband loves to
cook. He's been dying to make a homemade Alfredo sauce.
A co-worker gave him a recipe. He thought he followed it
to a "T", but the cheeses never melted in the sauce. It
was all lumpy and clumpy. What happened?
Temperature is very important for an Alfredo sauce. The
sauce should be hot, but not boiling. If the sauce is
not hot enough, the cheese may not melt well. A boiling
sauce will separate and curdle. To maintain an even
temperature, the cheese should be grated very fine and
gradually stirred into the sauce in batches, only adding
more after the first addition is thoroughly melted and
the sauce smooth.
I have been
experimenting with fresh pasta. When I make ravioli, the
ravioli often break apart during cooking. What am I
When one sheet of pasta is laid over another with
filling in-between, air can be trapped between the
layers. If the air is allowed to remain, the trapped air
will expand during cooking and cause the ravioli to
explode. To avoid this, work the air bubbles out of the
ravioli by gently but firmly pushing the air from the
edge of the filling to the edge of the pasta with your
fingers. Continue pushing the air out until there is no
more air trapped.
I often find myself
adjusting recipes in order to make enough for my family,
but it doesn't quite work for some recipes. Do you have
any advice for me?
Changing recipes in order to make
more or less servings is called "recipe scaling."
Whenever you alter the amounts of ingredients for a
given recipe, you may also need to adjust the cooking
temperature, cooking time, pan size and seasonings. But
for food chemistry reasons, recipe scaling simply does
not work well for some dishes: delicate foods such as
soufflés, baked items requiring yeast such as breads,
and recipes for a single large item that is meant to be
later divided into smaller portions such as cakes, pies,
breads and whole turkey.
Recipe Scaling Page will give you a reliable
framework for successful recipe scaling: It offers detailed
guidelines for recipe scaling.