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Anyone use fresh tomatoes in Lasagna?

(17 Posts)
BanyanTree Sat 17-Mar-18 18:27:47

Apparently I make a mean lasagna grin. However, I do think that my Las is a quick thing that I batch cook for dinner. I wouldn't feed it to my friends.

I once ate a lasagna at an Italian's house and the difference I found was they used fresh tomatoes and less meat. It was divine. I asked for the recipe (CF'er) and they declined as it was their grannies secret recipe.

Anyone make a lasagna with fresh tomatoes? I use tin tomatoes but want to use fresh for special occasions. When I have used fresh I found peeling them a massive faff (after blanching).

Any tips?

OP’s posts: |
tortelliniforever Sat 17-Mar-18 18:31:15

Hmm...I come from the home of lasagna and I would say the trick is to use tinned tomatoes - but not much of them. The lasagna here tends to have more layers of pasta and a meat sauce which has been cooked for hours between the layers. There shouldn't be too much tomato in the meat sauce - sometimes I even make it without tomatoes, with just a smudge of tom puree.

Girlwhowearsglasses Sat 17-Mar-18 18:39:16

What you need is a mouli:

It’s brilliant because it will ge the seeds and skin out. I grow a whole polytunnel full of tomatoes every year and what I do is cut tomatoes in half, put in massive pan with bit of salt and olive oil (no water). Cook it down and reduce for a bit. Then I put the lot through a hand mouli. This is different to sieving or blending because it leaves behind the skin and seeds. Bobs your uncle you then have the sweetest homemade passata to feeeze and use all winter. I can’t tell you how different it tastes to tinned or bottles tomatoes or passata. It’s so sweet you’d think it had sugar added. I use it on pizzas on its own with no herbs to anything. It goes great in lasagne with a layer of spinach and ricotta.

You can get moulis for around a tenner on eBay or amazon. They aren’t hard work -quite satisfying!

retirednow Sat 17-Mar-18 18:41:33

I use the best quality tin I can afford then fresh toms on the top of the cheese before I put it under the grill. You're making me feel hungry.

BanyanTree Sat 17-Mar-18 19:55:27

Thanks everyone, but especially Girlwho. I have just ordered a mouli.

I used to cut an X on the toms, then blanch in hot, then cold water. It was a massive faff. I use tin toms in a lot of my recipes and make my own pasta sauces and have a 3-month supply of them in my freezer. If I can make passata in advance that will be brilliant!

Don't get me wrong, I don't think there is anything nutritionally bad about tin toms, I just don't like the taste of them.

OP’s posts: |
allthegoodnameshadgone Sat 17-Mar-18 20:15:07

I use half tinned tomatoes and then I roast baby plants m tomatoes with salt and pepper then add it all to the blender. Works as a great base for pasta dishes

allthegoodnameshadgone Sat 17-Mar-18 20:15:28

Baby plum tomatoes not plants!!

retirednow Sat 17-Mar-18 20:19:19

Some people put a but of sugar in their Tommy sauce, i tried and it and it did mak them taste slightly different, less tinny.

ourkidmolly Sat 17-Mar-18 20:32:34

How weird that they wouldn't share a recipe. I really can't imagine that. Surely that's part of the joy of cooking and feeding friends. Awesome compliment.

Draylon Sat 17-Mar-18 20:46:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Girlwhowearsglasses Sat 17-Mar-18 21:19:48

Yes! The mouli! Move over potato ricer wink

BanyanTree Sun 18-Mar-18 08:31:38

I know. I was really mortified grin when they told me no, it's a secret recipe passed down from my Grandmother. It was the husband's granny. He is 2nd generation Italian and clearly didn't want anyone else to outshine him in the lasagna front.

OP’s posts: |
dudsville Sun 18-Mar-18 08:41:05

I roast fresh tomatoes in the oven in olive oil and herbs or spices or garlic etc. Then either blitz them for a sauce or mix them in to a pasta dish. Always tasty, unlike tinned toms, and it doesn't take long.

BanyanTree Sun 18-Mar-18 08:42:58

What do you reckon are the best tomatoes for making passata?

OP’s posts: |
JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 18-Mar-18 08:46:26

Mouli - brilliant. Had never even heard of that before but now I NEED one.

Another tip is to cook tinned toms or passata for around 2 hours on a low heat. At that point alchemy happens and they lose their acidity and take on a lovely deep savoury flavour. Oh, and stew a couple of celery stalks in there if you can.

BanyanTree Sun 18-Mar-18 09:18:39

Whilst I was looking at Mouli's I came across a gadget that you put garlic in and twist to crush it. It was amazing but I made myself walk away as it was £15.

OP’s posts: |
Clevs Mon 19-Mar-18 16:05:31

@BanyanTree I have one of those and it's amazing....probably one of the most used 'gadgets' in my kitchen. So good that I went out and bought a second one to keep in our campervan. I go to the Good Food Show every year and they are always there...when I walk past the demonstration I always comment to everyone watching how amazing it is and that they should get one!

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