Cooking lasagna noodles may seem straight forward but if you have been reading the box instructions for how to do this, it is actually all wrong. When cooking lasagna noodles, there are a few steps to ensure that the lasagna noodles stay firm, won't stick and taste delicious. I will walk you through all these steps in this easy recipe.
Cooking Dried Lasagna Pasta
Cooking dried lasagna noodles is actually very easy to do if you follow a few simple steps. Because lasagna noodles continue to cook in the oven, you have to be careful how long you cook them on the stove top first.
I will break down the cooking times and best practices for making the best lasagna noodles for a lasagna everyone will love.
How Long To Cook Lasagna Noodles
Knowing how long to cook lasagna noodles is the first step to making the best lasagna noodles for your lasagna. If you've read my post about how to cook angel hair pasta, each type of Italian pasta has different cooking requirements.
If you over cook the lasagna, your lasagna comes out mushy. If you undercook them, your lasagna comes out dry because the pasta absorbs all the liquids in the lasagna.
To know the right amount of time to cook the lasagna noodles, I always like to look at the manufacturers instructions for cooking the pasta to al dente.
From there, I adjust the time down by about 2 minutes. So if the box of pasta states cook the pasta for 10 minutes until al dente, I will only cook it for 8 minutes.
Every manufacturers cooking instructions will vary based on the makeup of the pasta. So look for the instructions for cooking al dente pasta (which means the pasta will have a bite) and reduce the cooking time by about 2 minutes.
This is always the tricky part for people because you can't really test or taste lasagna noodles for doneness since you do not cook it fully before adding it to a lasagna.
Adding Oil To The Pasta Water
I know this goes against every Italian's advice about never add oil to pasta water when cooking pasta but in the case of cooking lasagna noodles that do not stick, you need a little oil.
I like to add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the water before cooking the lasagna noodles. It helps the noodles from sticking together.
Only follow this advice for making these noodles and not other types of pasta 🙂
Stir, Stir, Stir
Once you have a large pot of water boiling for the lasagna noodles, the next important step is stirring those lasagna noodles constantly. When the noodles first hit the water they will tend to stick together.
By constantly stirring and separating the lasagna noodles, you are forcing them apart and allowing them to cook evenly.
I like using a toothed pasta spoon for doing this since it allows me separate the noodles that stick together.
Lay Out Cooked Lasagna Noodles
The last step in making these noodles is to lay out the cooked lasagna noodles on a kitchen towel. After you drain the noodles, you want to carefully lay out each long lasagna noodle on a kitchen towel.
Laying out lasagna noodles keeps the noodles from sticking together and allows them to cool. I like to use kitchen tongs to do this since the noodles are very hot right after they have been drained from the water.
When you follow all of these steps for cooking lasagna noodles, you will be on your way to a delicious lasagna like our delicious classic lasagna bolognese .
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How To Cook Lasagna Noodles
- 1 lb dried lasagna noodles (not pre-cooked)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pinch of kosher salt for water
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Add salt and oil to the water then cook lasagna noodles for about 2 minutes less than is suggested on the box for al dente.1 lb dried lasagna noodles, pinch of kosher salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Drain the pasta and with tongs, place each lasagna noodle on to a kitchen towel side by side.
- Add to your favorite lasagna recipe or try our lasagna al forno and enjoy!