How do I keep 40 pans of lasagna warm for a wedding reception?
I have a ton of friends that have agreed to make the family recipe for lasagna. How do I keep them warm?
I've thought of a couple of ideas:
1. Have people bring the lasagnas hot, squeeze all forty into the four ovens that I have in my church, and keep warm on 200 for the 2 hours that it would probably be before eating them.
2. Have people bring cooked lasagnas, stick them in the refrigerators, and warm them up right before serving (on what temp? for how long?).
What would you recommend?
Hi Amy, wow, that's a serious undertaking!
I've thought about this a lot. I've also spoken with a lovely German friend who used to run a restaurant (so she knows her stuff) and in a another life also prepared hundreds of portions of lasagna.
The answer? The ideal thing to do is to have people bring their 'lasagne' un-cooked (i.e. sauce made, layers built in the dish, just not yet baked).
Why? Freshly cooked lasagna tastes the best. Trying to keep lasagne warm for 2 hours will likely just dry them out - not good. While the fridge option would - if done right - add time, as really you should let these sit to come back up to room temperature before cooking.
Is this fresh baking approach possible? Hope so!
One final tip: if you can, get all your friends to try and use exactly the same type of lasagna sheets (e.g. sheets of Barilla's spinach pasta, uncooked). This approach will help you to cook your numerous lasagne without burning any, as different pasta brands tend to cook at different speeds!
Best of luck,
PS: Since you love lasagna, you find find my pasta cookbook of interest. It has a whole section of easy-to-print lasagna recipes inside and comes supplied with a free exclusive Lasagna 101 guide. Ciao!