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Béchamel (Northen Italian Style) Vs Ricotta (Sothern Italian Style) Lasagna Login/Join 
Get my pies
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Made a béchamel based lasagna last night for dinner tonight, hoping it comes out OK. Layers of bolognaise (meat sauce) thin no-boil pasta sheets, béchamel (white cream sauce), parmesan and grated whole milk mozzarella.

Anyone ever make it this way? I never really knew there were two distinct styles of this until I was stationed in Germany and was served the béchamel-based Northern style one there, most Americans know only the southern Italian ricotta based version as the vast majority of Italian immigrants to the USA came from the southern regions of Italy.


 
Posts: 28042 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My wife's neice is Italian and when she came to visit she made us the bechamel style lasagna. My whole life previously was the ricotta based lasagna. The neice also did not boil the pasta first. Just put it on in hard sheets and said the baking process would cook the sheets, which it did.

The neice is from the Tuscany area which is middle Italy. Not sure where she picked up the technique.

quote:
Originally posted by PASig:
Made a béchamel based lasagna last night for dinner tonight, hoping it comes out OK. Layers of bolognaise (meat sauce) thin no-boil pasta sheets, béchamel (white cream sauce), parmesan and grated whole milk mozzarella.

Anyone ever make it this way? I never really knew there were two distinct styles of this until I was stationed in Germany and was served the béchamel-based Northern style one there, most Americans know only the southern Italian ricotta based version as the vast majority of Italian immigrants to the USA came from the southern regions of Italy.
 
Posts: 2618 | Location: York, PA | Registered: May 01, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is a timely post.
My wife and I are making lasagna for the family at my mother's 90th birthday.
My question is...
When using the dry noodles do you leave the sauce more liquid, so the end product doesn't dry out?
It seems that this should apply, but I would like to be sure so as to not ruin two large lasagnas.

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks.
 
Posts: 329 | Registered: March 04, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Drill Here, Drill Now
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quote:
Originally posted by PASig:
Anyone ever make it this way? I never really knew there were two distinct styles of this until I was stationed in Germany and was served the béchamel-based Northern style one there, most Americans know only the southern Italian ricotta based version as the vast majority of Italian immigrants to the USA came from the southern regions of Italy.
I've eaten both at restaurants, but have only made the ricotta based since it's my preference.

I grew up in the Upper Midwest and ricotta is the high-end version of lasagna. Sadly, most make it the 3rd way which is cottage cheese instead of ricotta or bechamel.



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Posts: 20216 | Location: N. Houston, TX | Registered: November 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Get my pies
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quote:
Originally posted by USMCE4retired:
This is a timely post.
My wife and I are making lasagna for the family at my mother's 90th birthday.
My question is...
When using the dry noodles do you leave the sauce more liquid, so the end product doesn't dry out?
It seems that this should apply, but I would like to be sure so as to not ruin two large lasagnas.

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks.


Yes, you want to make it a little more saucy/wet than usual to allow for the pasta to cook. Get the "no boil" lasagna sheets and not the regular stuff which is thicker and really should be cooked beforehand.

Like these:



 
Posts: 28042 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The Northern-version is a nice change-up to the more familiar Southern-version American's commonly associate with lasagna.

I've come to enjoy seeing restaurants work to achieve dishes using ultra-thin sheets of pasta, creating some insanely layered versions. As restaurants get back up to speed post-pandemic, hopefully these labor intensive dishes make a return to the menu.
 
Posts: 11613 | Location: Wine Country | Registered: September 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Thank you
Very little
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béchamel is French, besciamella is Italian Big Grin




 
Posts: 17566 | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Both kinds are great, but I like the cheesier kind slightly more.




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Posts: 50150 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Get my pies
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quote:
Originally posted by HRK:


béchamel is French, besciamella is Italian Big Grin



What do most cookbooks call it? Béchamel


 
Posts: 28042 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've recently been watching these 2 on Youtube. Great channel. This video is perfect for this thread...





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Posts: 10971 | Location: Westminster, MA | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Little ray
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quote:
Originally posted by PASig:
quote:
Originally posted by HRK:


béchamel is French, besciamella is Italian Big Grin



What do most cookbooks call it? Béchamel


It is one of the French sauces from classical French cooking. They call them the mother sauces. But they are French in origin, so many use the French names, even when adopted by Italians.




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Posts: 50150 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Now I'm hungry! Both sound great to me!




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Posts: 35934 | Location: NW Indiana | Registered: November 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good lawd those take a lot of prep time. But both look absolutely amazing. Big Grin



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Posts: 13057 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had no idea that another style existed outside of ricotta?!

Would love to try it!

HK Ag
 
Posts: 2968 | Location: Tomball, Texas | Registered: August 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Update: it was delicious!

I’m sold on this style and will continue to make it, next time I’ll cut back on the mozzarella, that’s my only self critique with this batch.

I’m thinking of trying a white version too with grilled chicken, spinach and smoked cheddar or Gouda.


 
Posts: 28042 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Pasta Grammer is a great channel those two crack me up, she's from Southern Italy and he's from Maine, the differences couldn't be more stark. Italian food in-general is very simple like most Southern European cuisines, however for weekends or important meals, you break out the big guns as lasagna is one of the most labor intensive Italian recipes. They made a timpano (go watch Stanley Tucci's Big Night one of the greatest food movies) which is awesome and should inspire everyone to create big group dinners around such dishes.

She went very indulgent on the Southern style recipe, with the big variety of meat, good lord! And the Northern recipe she went very traditional Bolognese-style with the spinach pasta...can't go wrong from the culinary heart of Italy.
 
Posts: 11613 | Location: Wine Country | Registered: September 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ammoholic
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Ricotta is trash, Béchamel for the win.



Jesse

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Posts: 18274 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: December 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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^^^^^
Ohhhh....thems is FIGHTIN' words right there!!! Razz Both mama and papa's ancestry is Sicilian. Ricotta all the way!!! And it's Ri-COAT-uh....NOT Ri-COT-a. Anyone who pronounces it the second way is a friggin' HEATHEN!!! Big Grin



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Ammoholic
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Erg, no need for fisticuffs, I'll eat ricotta, just don't prefer it. I like creamy vs dry, that's my preference.



Jesse

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Posts: 18274 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: December 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I didn't know there were two kinds.
I'll have to try the Béchamel out.

Lately I've been doing lasagna in the slow cooker.
Start it before work and all ready to go when I get home.
I always think I made way to much but it disappears pretty quick.
 
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