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I’ve just assembled a vegetable lasagna, and the filling and sauce have both come out erring a bit on the watery side — not dreadfully so, but noticeably wetter than when I’ve previously made this recipe.

Usually I cook it 35–40mins at about 180ºC (in a fan oven). How should I adjust the cooking temperature and time to correct for the extra wetness — i.e. to cook off a bit more water, without affecting other aspects too much? Slightly higher temperature? Slightly longer time?

Edit: To be clear, I’m not asking “how do I avoid this problem next time?” (which I know well enough), I’m asking “when this sort of mistake happens, how should one adjust to compensate as far as possible?”

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  • 4
    what kind of veg....and how are you treating them?
    – moscafj
    Sep 6 '20 at 17:03
  • Onion and mushroom, lightly sautéed. And the sauce is a béchamel.
    – PLL
    Sep 6 '20 at 17:15
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    Were you seeking to rescue this lasagne or amend your approach for the future?
    – Spagirl
    Sep 6 '20 at 20:37
  • @Spagirl: To learn what to do if I make such a mistake again in future. (Obviously the best approach is always “don’t make the mistake again”, but we’re human, mistakes happen, so it’s also good to know how to react when the do.)
    – PLL
    Sep 7 '20 at 6:10
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Mushrooms can throw off excess moisture. I would suggest cooking them down a bit further and draining on paper towel before adding them to your lasagna. You didn't mention how you baked your lasagna, but my process is to bake (and your temp is fine) covered for 40 to 50 minutes. Then to uncover and return to the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes more. I'll take a look, and often run it under the broiler to brown the top and crisp the edges.

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  • Thankyou; your second half (cooking for longer, but combining covered and uncovered cooking) seems just what I’m after.
    – PLL
    Sep 12 '20 at 7:28
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Cooking a casserole like this for longer isn’t a great way to reduce moisture. Unlike a stew, there’s not much circulation. The top dries out, and then further reduction requires a lot of heat to be conducted to the inner areas. Even up at temperature it’ll take a long time.

If you’ve got significant liquid, instead just spoon it out or remove with a turkey baster.

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In addition to moscafj's advice on pre-cooking your vegetable ingredients, I would also recommend that you consider using uncooked noodles of some kind, either no-boil dried noodles, or fresh-rolled handmade pasta.

Boiled noodles are wet, and can actually give off some of their moisture while baking. Whereas dried or fresh noodles absorb moisture from the other ingredients, ensuring that you don't get a "soupy" lasagna even if some of your veggies or your sauces are too wet.

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