Pre-cooked pasta

I am a delco and am thinking about adding pasta to my menu. My problem is I don’t really have space for a stove to cook it,so my question is are there any good pre-cooked pastas out there that I could use?

You can buy an electric 2 burner counter top (or put it on floor) when in use. That is what we use. We pull it out when needed and put away when not. Suprisingly it is able to bring 2 huge pots to a boil. The commercial ones are the only way to go.

Never had any experience with buying pre cooked.

Funny, I clicked on the banner ad for Marzetti on this site the other day and started reading about it. Really, I’m more interested in it for lasagna because its such a pain. I just sent an email to our rep to get our hands on some sample product – spaghetti, fettucini and lasagna.

pizza pirate:

Just a little tidbit…did you know you don’t have to pre cook the lasagna noodles? Truly amazing. When we make ours we dip them in water, layer and then bake for about an hour and 15 minutes. Works out well.

Hey Kris, what temp do you cook your lasagna at?

I have a recipe for baked Mac & Cheese like this, except you put plenty of tomato sauce in the pan and the dry pasta sucks up all the moisture (and the flavor).

Also, there are lasagna noodles that come paired up with ricotta already sandwiched between them. I think they are called “stackers” and they come in precooked and frozen. Just add meat, sauce and a bit of mozz and bake. Easy peasy.

Before we had our burners we did the same thing. You can also get a two burner that uses propane. Same principle

Currently we cook the meat and noodles first and then assemble and bake for 20 minutes – portion and put in the oven for each order 12 minutes.

Do you cook the meat ahead of time? Not sure this works for us as we would have to come in early to bake it at a lower temp than pizza.

We cook it at 350-375 in our deck. Yes the meat is cooked ahead of time. We use our bottom oven and cook while prepping. When we have extra time we make a couple of pans, portion and freeze then pull out as needed to thaw, micro for about 6 minutes and then fresh sauce, top with cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes. As the other poster said use plenty of sauce.

Just a thought the 1 hour to come in early you will probably save by making your own pasta. We do enough pasta to tide us over for a few days. (The lasagna of course we do in quanity because it freezes well.)

Kris

[quote=“Kris”]
You can buy an electric 2 burner counter top (or put it on floor) when in use. That is what we use. We pull it out when needed and put away when not. Suprisingly it is able to bring 2 huge pots to a boil. The commercial ones are the only way to go. quote]

Hi Kris:

As long as you are not cited for a violation you are OK but the method you describe is not according to code.

Any unit that can raise the temperature of a product to 220 degrees is required to be under a hood.

Exception, micro wave ovens and there are some units classified as food warmers that apparently can reach that temperature but usually get a pass.

George Mills

Would it be possible to cook lasagna in a conveyor oven?

Hi Knightwing:

Lasagna will bake to perfection in a conveyor oven. Just a matter of getting your time and temps figured out.

I would think it best to bake a supply in advance (should take longer to bake than pizza) and refrigerate until ordered. Then run through conveyor at about pizza speed to re heat for sale.

Others who have actually baked the product in a conveyor may give us more input.

George mills

How do you layer your lasagna? I’m trying it today and was wondering if it made a difference where the sauce went. We normally oil the pan, noodle, meat, ricotta, sauce – rinse and repeat. Should I put sauce on the bottom first for the noodle to s uck up? I’m planning on just increasing the amount of sauce at this point.

Pirate, I’m not doing commercial size pans yet, but I have had much better product when I switched to saucing the pan, then starting my noodle layer. I don’t know exactly what it was, more flavor bubbling up or just dumb luck but either way, it does serve better for me and my “testers” all picked that batch over the noodle first batch…not knowing it was the exact same product otherwise!

In another part of my life I run a kitchen for a Retreat Center. We’ll serve 80+ meals 3 times a day, I’ve used the “no-boil” lasagna noodles for years there and love them. No muss, No fuss. just be sure to up your sauce qty. a bit b/c they do love to soak up all that water and thus flavor.

Just tried a batch at 350 for an hour and fifteen minutes. They were not quite done so I put them back in for another 30 minutes – have yet to check them again. The top noodles did not even come close. I’m assuming that I need to completely cover the top with sauce which I was not doing before.

I think I have to agree as well that the finished product has a lot more flavor.

You will find that covering your pan with plastic film, then aluminum foil, will seal in the steam and speed cooking of no-boil noodles. I think there is a liomit as to length of time before plastic meltsd, but I have gone 400F for 45 minutes with little trouble. I’d stay below that temp and time in future.

There is probably A ‘rule’ out there for doing this, but I haven’t gotten it yet. I just got the hook-up on the technique a month or two ago :frowning:

Yes the top is covered with sauce.