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Do you prefer Baked Ziti or Lasagna AND WHY?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Baked Ziti and Lasagna have the same ingredients but are handled differently, so I just am curious to see what the preference is....Thoughts?

post #2 of 27

I'll take either one, The Baked Ziti would have to be made in Individual boats and baked. The reason is, I see to many times people make it with to many noodles and it's dry, you want it tender, meaty and cheesy. If its made in Ind portion boats you get the real deal and a nice crisp Mozzarella cheese crust on the top. The Lasagna has just about all the same ingredient, just layered, this also has to be layered with the right amount of meat and cheese........ChefBillyB

post #3 of 27

Haven't a clue what baked Ziti might be.  As for lasagne - I love it!

 

I've often wondered - why do we use the final 'e' and Americans an 'a'?

post #4 of 27

Hm, "baked ziti", is that not Pastitsio?

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post #5 of 27

It really comes down to the specific recipe and cook behind the dish.

 

But I've probably had fewer poor to bad baked ziti than poor to bad lasagne.

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post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

Hm, "baked ziti", is that not Pastitsio?


Pastitsio usually has bechamel like lasagna, baked ziti doesn't.

post #7 of 27

I don't use a bechamel for my lasagna and I'm not wild about pastitsio (I don't care for some spice in it, I think). I like baked ziti, but love lasagna.I like it because it's firmer than ziti. I like the texture.

post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Granny Smith View Post

I don't use a bechamel for my lasagna


What a shame! frown.gif

post #9 of 27

I've never made a lasagna w/ a Béchamel sauce; I don't think I ever will either. The closest I've ever come is an alfredo sauce (and not on lasagna). On top of that, my alfredo would probably be considered bohemian anyway. Béchamel sauce is too French for me. I can't put it on lasagna. 

 

To answer the question, lasagna is my choice. I prefer the texture. Baked ziti never really did it for me. I prefer a dish made up the same general way using tortelloni instead, with lots of cheese; ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, romano et al. I also like a heavier meat sauce using finely crumbled sweet and hot sausage. 

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #10 of 27
I always make lasagna w/ besciamella. Maybe if you did it the Italian way, it won't be too French for you. It is a very tradtitional ingredient, especially if we are talking the Lasagna Verdi popular in Emeliglia Romana(forgive my Ital sp) It's cool if its not your thing, but to imply that bèchamel does not belong cause its "too French" is baseless.
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
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A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
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post #11 of 27

"Béchamel sauce is too French for me." That's what's really cool about opinions. We can all have them. Another point ..... Italy is a big place. You can go less than a kilometer away into a different neighborhood and find a dish that you just ate moments before prepared and presented in a completely different way. Would you tell them that they didn't do it the Italian way? I'm curious about that. 

 

"According to Larousse Gastronomique, the sauce is named after the "marquis de Béchamel", actually Louis de Béchameil, marquis de Nointel (1630–1703). According to Larousse the sauce is an improvement upon a similar, earlier sauce, known as velouté. Béchameil was a financier who held the honorary post of chief steward to Louis XIV. The sauce under its familiar name first appeared in Le Cuisinier François, (published in 1651), by François Pierre La Varenne (1615–1678), chef de cuisine to Nicolas Chalon du Blé, marquis d'Uxelles. The foundation of French cuisine, the Cuisinier François ran through some thirty editions in seventy-five years."

 

I don't know? That sounds pretty French to me. Whether it's used in any Italian cuisine or not does not change it's origin from seeming to me to be really French. But then again, I could be wrong. 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #12 of 27

Iceman: You are right. I was a lil harsh in the previous post. I really didn't mean to attack your opinion like that. I gave your words too much weight treated them as if you were some culinary master leading us to the light.  I did also let my ego get in the way of good judgment. My family is from San Marino and we are very proud of the way we prepare lasagna.  That does not give us the right to walk around like we are the gold standard for all things lasagna. You are just another dude, like the rest of us sharing your knowledge and opinions, and deserve such respect.

 

Of course there are many regional differences in the preparation of food in Italy(and all cultures for that matter). I was trying to make that point with my reference to the lasagna verdi. Also I have to believe that ancient chefs around the world used some version of bechiamel as a base without French influence. It just happens that they get the credit because they are the ones who refined the technique & recipies for this among pretty much everything else we have learned. Course I could be way off, I don't know for sure.

 

Spaceman: I hope didn't turn your thread into a discussion on the origins and proper use of bechamel sauce. (although I am very interested in these things) Also I (rudely) made a post here and completely neglected your original topic. So here it goes:

 

You can probably guess that I am a lasagna man. As previously stated by iceman, I would agree that it is a matter of texture for me also. I am not a fan of baked pastas.  To often, the noodles overcook & become too soft for my liking. I would prefer a bowl of penne Bolognese cooked al dente to baked ziti. The layering of the noodles in a lasagna makes all the difference. I love feeling my fork breaking through each layer as I cut into it. Then when you put it in you mouth & it just melts away... When properly done it may be my favorite pasta dish.  Also mentioned earlier, a big key is balancing the amount of sauce & fillings to pasta just right. Too dry, or too wet and its not very enjoyable. 

A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
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A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
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post #13 of 27

First  What kind of Lasagna, meat, vege, seafood. next what type of ziti  Sicilian style, meat, Bolangnaisse. seafood.  Each is different.

Pastitcio from what I have done was indeed made with a Bechamel and Feta, Ziti type pasta and other ingredients. and we used to make it  for Greek Functions.. Baked Ziti as far as I know has no Bechamel. If  we made a la Bolangaisse style (towards Northern Italy)  it was finished with Heavy Cream. In any case they are all good. And everyone has their own favorite..

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Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #14 of 27

Whoa whoa, bechamel is only used in french cooking?  This is news to me.  My family in greece has been putting bechamel in their dishes for generations, I grew up thinking it was greek. 

 

There are different kinds of lasagna.  Personally I prefer the bechamel bolognese style, the other stuff with the marinara and ricotta cheese reminds me of bad italian restaurants.  From what I understand lasagna is regional as is all italian cooking.  One's one preference is always valid but saying bechamel is too french for an italian dish is so silly.  In fact just recently I found out that people in Italy don't know what spaghetti and meatballs are, apprarently that's an american dish.  But let's not get into the whole authenticity game because that only leads to trouble.  The truth is most people think of lasagna as the red sauce with white cheese stuff, and very few know that there are other (better) versions of it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

Hm, "baked ziti", is that not Pastitsio?


Nope not even close.  Pastitsio is traditionally made with a very large bucatini. I have seen some greeks makes it with ziti but only because large bucatini is difficult to find and I indeed have only found it in greek specialty stores.



Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

First  What kind of Lasagna, meat, vege, seafood. next what type of ziti  Sicilian style, meat, Bolangnaisse. seafood.  Each is different.

Pastitcio from what I have done was indeed made with a Bechamel and Feta, Ziti type pasta and other ingredients. and we used to make it  for Greek Functions.. Baked Ziti as far as I know has no Bechamel. If  we made a la Bolangaisse style (towards Northern Italy)  it was finished with Heavy Cream. In any case they are all good. And everyone has their own favorite..


Ding ding ding you just hit on a greek's biggest pet peeve.  No, pastitsio is NOT made with feta, I know of no regional versions that make it with feta cheese and if they do none of them are authentic.  Pastitsio is made with bucatini pasta, a bolognese-style sauce, and topped with real bechamel.  Furthermore, putting feta cheese (or olives) in a dish does not miraculously make it greek as so many seem to believe.
 

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post #15 of 27

bechamel is a name. As with most of cooking, the names are French. It doesn't describe the origin or history of the sauce in any way.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post




What a shame! frown.gif


I've tried lasagna with a bechamel, but prefer it with just cheese. Oddly, I like pizza with a bechamel. Go figure.

post #17 of 27

Granny Smith: LOL!! lol.gif

post #18 of 27

I think it has to be the dish that is better the next day. lasagna :>D

We need to narrow it down to American/Italian dishes.

pan

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post #19 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post

"Béchamel sauce is too French for me." That's what's really cool about opinions. We can all have them. Another point ..... Italy is a big place. You can go less than a kilometer away into a different neighborhood and find a dish that you just ate moments before prepared and presented in a completely different way. Would you tell them that they didn't do it the Italian way? I'm curious about that. 

 

"According to Larousse Gastronomique, the sauce is named after the "marquis de Béchamel", actually Louis de Béchameil, marquis de Nointel (1630–1703). According to Larousse the sauce is an improvement upon a similar, earlier sauce, known as velouté. Béchameil was a financier who held the honorary post of chief steward to Louis XIV. The sauce under its familiar name first appeared in Le Cuisinier François, (published in 1651), by François Pierre La Varenne (1615–1678), chef de cuisine to Nicolas Chalon du Blé, marquis d'Uxelles. The foundation of French cuisine, the Cuisinier François ran through some thirty editions in seventy-five years."

 

I don't know? That sounds pretty French to me. Whether it's used in any Italian cuisine or not does not change it's origin from seeming to me to be really French. But then again, I could be wrong. 


Well, Larousse after all was French!  Do you suppose he would say it originated in Greece?  lol.gif

 

Anyway, I'm sure there is a tiny town somewhere in italy where lasagne is made with ricotta, but i've never seen it here, it;s always with besciamella or balsamella - two italian words for bechamel. 

 

One thing to keep in mind (oh no, here it comes again) when  Caterina de Medici was sent to marry the king of france and had to go live with those barbarians (as she considered the French) back in the fifteen hundreds, she brought her Tuscan chef with her who introduced the refined cuisine of renaissance Tuscany to the court of france which then became the basis of much of French cooking. Anyway, for whatever reason, besciamella or balsamella is now an italian ingredient too, perhaps brought back to italy by the Bourbons.  That's the nice thing about words and food - they pass around from country to country - and like culture, if it's too inbred, it gets dull and provincial and uninteresting. 

 

Anyway, as to the question, I don;t much like either - if i'm going to have pasta, i really like a very fresh simple tomato sauce with really good tomatoes, and freshly cooked pasta.  The only baked pasta dish i enjoy is macaroni and cheese.  Homemade, with a base of... bechamel. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #20 of 27

So, Siduri...  you use the lasagnE spelling, too?!biggrin.gif

post #21 of 27

Try layering two difference sauces in baked ziti, and you'll see why i prefer lasagna.

Also, I don't buy anything I can make. If I had a bronze press to make ziti, sure I'd make more ziti. But right now All i do have is my two hands to knead and a pasta roller to make long, flat sheets. and that spells lasagna.

 

As for bechemel sauce being only for french, last time I checked Alfredo sauce was bechemel sauce with cheese and maybe herbs added. At least it's sure as hell how I make it. OK OK Fine bechemel sauce has a french name, but let's not forget how long italy existed without a single tomato, but we'll call tomato sauce a perfectly acceptable sauce for lasagna.

post #22 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcieluck View Post
...last time I checked Alfredo sauce was bechemel sauce with cheese and...

Hm, it is readily apparent that you and I learned from different sources, for me Alfredo means Parmesan cheese, butter, and black pepper, PERIOD! (Ok, OK, some might add some heavy cream, but it is far better, IMHO, when it is solely Parmesan and butter, correctly made and seasoned.

 

It is not:

  • a variation of Mornay sauce, or
  • a Bechamel base, or
  • a bottled sauce, or

 

IMHO!

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post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishbel View Post

So, Siduri...  you use the lasagnE spelling, too?!biggrin.gif

yup, but it's sort of snobby, like saying zucchine instead of zucchini (ok, you say courgettes, which makes me think that in the uk, foods like lasagne came through an interest in foreign cuisine, unlike in the states, where it was mainly brought by immigrants, and the locals got interested in it only a couple of generations later, when the spelling had already been bastardized by the children of the immigrants trying to spell what they heard) or saying salame instead of salami, and origano instead of oregano.  Those are all the italian versions, though actually the english (or american) versions are really the correct ones when speaking in that language. 

 


 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post


 

Hm, it is readily apparent that you and I learned from different sources, for me Alfredo means Parmesan cheese, butter, and black pepper, PERIOD! (Ok, OK, some might add some heavy cream, but it is far better, IMHO, when it is solely Parmesan and butter, correctly made and seasoned.

 

It is not:

  • a variation of Mornay sauce, or
  • a Bechamel base, or
  • a bottled sauce, or

 

IMHO!

Hi Pete,

maybe we went through this already - what i knew is that alfredo is like a carbonara without the pancetta but with the addition of butter - a beaten egg put on the hot, just drained pasta, with butter and parmigiano.  I imagine the laws in the states don;t allow the undercooked egg that cooks slightly on the hot pasta creating a creamy sauce, without any addition of cream. 
Perhaps it's the butter and pasta mixed first over the heat, then the egg added, it was a long time ago and i don;t remember exactly.  But the egg is not put on the heat but cooks in the residual heat of the pasta.

Pasta with butter and parmigiano would not have a name in italian and would not be anyone's "exclusive" recipe (Two restaurants in piazza Augusto Imperatore each claiming to have the exclusive and original "Fettuccine Alfredo" could not be for just butter and parmigiano - It would just be called "pasta al burro" , and it is served in every household as the way kids generally prefer pasta!

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #25 of 27

In Italy I have had it made with raw egg and cheese, and a pepper mill turned over it. I have had it in the states with Heavy Cream or a light bechamel mixed with cream, both with cheese, and a 100% bechamel.alone with just cheese.  Are they right or wrong ?? I am not Alfreddo of Rome so I have no opinion . I like them all   IF PREPARED CORRECTLY.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #26 of 27

First time i heard of Ziti was watching the sopranos...Intrigued, I researched recipes. Best I found was with huge ammounts of Riccotta, dried oregano and parmesan on top...Bliss. So far from lasagne, I can't see the comparison. I've found a new comfort food

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post #27 of 27

When done like this it is usually served as Baked Ziti and in a cassarole. Unbaked is just sauced and no riccotta, at least here in states.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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