In this article, we will answer the question “How to boil lasagna sheets without sticking?”, how to prevent pre-cooked pasta from sticking, and how to make lasagna sheets at home.
How to boil lasagna sheets without sticking?
Use a large pot
Using a large pot with lots of water is a sure way to prevent lasagna sheets from sticking. When the sheets are aggregated into a small pot, they touch hot water and release starch. This results in the deformation of the lasagna sheets and sticking.
Using a big pot is essential regardless of adding a generous amount of oil to the boiling water. This is because a large pot will ensure a smaller starch to water ratio which will help the sheets stay distinct.
Add oil to the boiling water
First of all, you need to let the water come to a rolling boil before you go in and dump the lasagna sheets. When the water starts boiling, add oil to it. The oil will stick to the pasta sheets and prevent sticking. Be generous with the oil and pour at least 2 tablespoons of it.
Gentle stirring using a wooden spoon is the key to getting distinct lasagna sheets that do not stick together. Once the starch swells up and the lasagna sheets become soft, you can leave the pasta to itself. But before then, stir continuously.
Thankfully! There is no technical thing about this step. As long as you have done everything else right, your lasagna sheets should stay intact without sticking after draining. If it does stick a little, separate the sheets manually.
How do I prevent pre-cooked lasagna sheets from sticking?
Olive oil to the rescue
Spray some olive oil onto the cooked lasagna sheets to prevent them from sticking. The number of sprays per sheet or the amount of olive oil used at this step depends on how much oil you used during boiling the sheets.
If you added tons of it previously, you can do with a little sprinkle of olive oil later on. Get up close with your lasagna sheets and look for a sheen on their surface. If the sheet is prominent, use little oil. If the sheets look dry on the surface, go ahead with two sprays of olive oil per sheet.
Use plastic foil
Lay your sheets on plastic foil before packing and storing them. This step may be optional if you have done everything else right but it is always better to take caution. The sheets should be spread in such a way that they do not touch each other or else they will stick.
Dump the lasagna sheets into the cold water
After you have drained the lasagna, transfer it to a bowl of cold water. Doing so will stop the cooking right away and prevent sticking. It also makes the sheets easy to handle during assembling since hot lasagna sheets are difficult to layer.
Bake the whole thing together
Assemble the lasagna with the uncooked sheets and everything else you need to put in there. Then bake for a little longer than you usually would. A good starting point is baking the lasagna at 200C or 370F for 45 minutes.
Then check for doneness and return the pasta to the oven if it is crunchy here and there. This trick is a little risky as it may affect the flavor and texture of pasta but it is worth trying. Before you form any opinion, try it for yourself to see if this time-saving hack does the job for you or not.
How to make lasagna sheets from scratch at home?
- 4 cups/510 grams 00 or all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 4 whole large eggs
- 5 to 6 large egg yolks
- Add flour into a large mixing bowl. Dig a hole into the center of the flower mound and fill it with whole eggs and 5 yolks. Work the liquid ingredients into the flour, first with a fork, then using your hand.
- The mixture will start from a sloppy mess to a soft and non-sticky dough. During mixing and kneading, you may add some water or egg yolk to incorporate all of the flour.
- When the dough is nice and smooth, cover it with a plastic film and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or 4 hours max.
- Take a quarter piece of dough and cover the rest of it. Press this piece of dough into a 6-inch wide sheet. Then pass it through the pasta rollers adjusted to the widest setting.
- Halve the sheet with a knife and feed it to the pasta roller again. Do this until the sheet is silky and smooth with the same width as the pasta machine.
- Pass the sheet through the 2nd or 3rd setting for once only until it is 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle flour if necessary.
- Then pass the sheet through the next thinner settings twice or until it gets 1/16-inch thick. Use flour if needed.
- Cut the sheet into 13-inch lasagna sheets. Sprinkle some flour and mound on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover the sheets with a damp kitchen towel while you repeat the process to the rest of the dough.
In this article, we answered the question “How to boil lasagna sheets without sticking?”, how to prevent pre-cooked pasta from sticking, and how to make lasagna sheets at home.