Tips on make ahead for my baked pasta

I know I can just make it ahead, chill and reheat. But really it is so lovely and fresh. If I tossed it and chilled it without baking, I'm afraid the noodles would absorb the sauce. I could assemble onsite and heat if I make the components ahead. A bit of a hassle but not too much. But I suppose I have to rinse the pasta to cool it. I guess that isn't the worst thing? But it will stick if I bring is separately. I have to serve on Sat. and I'm making 4x the recipe and putting it in a huge roasting pan.
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6 Comments

Susan W. January 19, 2015
So glad you reported back with success. I am picking up my fresh ricotta on Tuesday. Can't wait to make it.
 
Susan W. January 16, 2015
When I make such recipes ahead of time, I assemble and bake when it's time. I think either way works, but I settled on the assemble and bake later long ago. I would shoot for slightly less than al dente pasta and leave time to bring it to close to room temp.

It looks amazing and I'm sure it will be delicious either way.
 
nutcakes January 16, 2015
Yes, I'm now going to assemble at the site, making the components separately and take in a cooler, since I don't know if there will be room to hold the large pan in the refrigerator as it now looks like it will be a few hours before heating. What should I do to keep the cooked pasta from sticking together? Toss in a small amount of sauce, then bag? (Yes this is a delicious recipe with a ligter feel to it. If you can get fresh mozzarella, fresh oregano, fresh ricotta it really elevates it.)
 
Susan W. January 16, 2015
I may not have been clear, but I meant assemble it and bake later. I read my own post and wasn't sure if it was clear. Several of the people commenting said it was a great make ahead dish.

If you are taking the components separately, I would cook the pasta, drain and give it a little rinse to get rid of the starch. I think mixing it with a little olive oil may work better than sauce because the sauce may absorb and cause it to become soft.

The one I used to make for personal chef families wasn't as high level as yours. I'm definitely going to make this one soon.
 
nutcakes January 18, 2015
OK I did it! Cooked late the night before. Piled 4 x the recipe into a huge roasting pan, that was sooo heavy it made a ton. Chilled in fridge. Heated onsite 2 hours at 275 with foil then 20 min at 425 no foil. Still moist, they loved it.
 
Monita January 16, 2015
I think making the whole thing ahead and re-heating is fine. Re-heat covered until warm and then uncover and heat for another 10 min so the top retains it's surface texture
 
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