Le lasagne della nonna

My grandmother's lasagna recipe   Our original home cooking

homemade lasagna,  the photo shows sheet layers tossed with meat and tomato sauce, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and decorated with basil leaves
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My family's lasagna

Ingredients / Serves 6

  • 500 g (1,1 lb) fresh lasagna sheets
  • 85 g (3 oz) bacon
  • 200 g (7 oz) ground beef
  • 200 g (7 oz) ground pork
  • 85 g (3 oz) raw ham, in a piece
  • 125 g (4 1/2oz) fresh sausage
  • 60 g (2 oz) young fresh onions
  • 85 g (3 oz) carrot
  • 20 g (3/4 oz) celery
  • 1 400 g (14 oz) can peeled tomatoes
  • 250 ml (8 fl oz - 1C) red wine
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz - 3/4 C) vegetable stock
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 70 g (2 1/2oz) unsalted butter
  • 200 g (7 oz) grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper, if you like
  •  
  • For béchamel sauce
  •  
  • 60 g (2 oz) white flour
  • 60 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 600 ml (21 fl oz - 2 1/2 C) milk
  • Pinch grated nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Pepper, if you like.
  • Time:
    preparation: 60 minutes
    cooking: 3 ore e mezza
  • Difficulty:
    easy recipe
  • How many calories in a serving?
    Calories: 910 (kcal) 46 % GDA (*)- 3806 (kJ)
    Protein: 46.0 (g) 62 % GDA
    Total fat: 54.4 (g) 78 % GDA
    Total carbohydrate: 59.6 (g) 23 % GDA
    Sugars: 8.4 (g) 10 % GDA

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My grandmother's lasagna recipe is a pasta dish made with egg pasta sheets, ragout (meat and tomato sauce), Parmesan cheese and béchamel sauce my grandmother was used to cook when I was a child. It's a full-flavoured, delicious recipe but it's very rich in calories, fat and protein as you can see. Now I make this dish for my husband but very, very seldom. We prefer healthy eating and so I prepare light lasagna made with vegetable sauce (look at other light and easy lasagna recipe!). Any way we describe the recipe of this tasty lasagna.

Prepare the meat and tomato sauce (ragout, in Italian we say: ragù). Peel and crumble the sausage. Chop the raw ham. Purèe the peeled tomatoes in a blender or food processor until smooth. Prepare the vegetable stock.
Clean and wash the onions, carrot and celery; chop them together with bacon. Put them in a saucepan together with 4 tablespoons of olive oil and 30 g (1 oz) of butter. Let them fry lightly for few minutes and then add the sausage, raw ham and meats. Brown all the ingredients and then pour the red wine into the saucepan; let it evaporate over a fierce heat. At this point add the purèed tomatoes and stock, lower the flame, season to taste with salt and pepper, and keep on cooking for about 3 hours, half-covered, stirring now and then. Add other stock, if necessary.

Prepare the lasagna sheets. You can find different kinds of lasagna sheets. Dry and fresh. Both lasagna sheets can be ready to bake but there are some dry lasagna sheets that need to be boiled before using. If you have to boil the dry lasagna sheets read the instructions on the package. Anyway remember to add 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the boiling water! This avoids pasta rectangles stick. Remove lasagna from boiling water with 2 skimming ladles, cool them under running cold water and arrange on a towel. If you want you can prepare fresh egg pasta at home. Read our step-by-step instructions to make egg pasta on this page. Remember to boil your lasagna sheets before using. Plunge them in abundant salted boiling water, few sheets at a time, and remove them from the water with a skimming ladle as soon as they come to the surface of the boiling water. Cool them under running cold water and arrange on a napkin in order to let them dry.

Prepare béchamel sauce. Prepare béchamel following our instructions. In this case this sauce must not be too thick.

Prepare the lasagna in the pan. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Butter a shallow ovenproof dish. Line the bottom with a layer of lasagna sheets and spoon in some tablespoons of meat and tomato sauce and béchamel; sprinkle with Parmesan. Cover with other lasagna sheets and continue until all the ingredients are used up, remembering the top must be made of béchamel mixed with sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and arrange the remaining butter, cut into little pieces, on the top. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the surface is golden. Remove the dish from the oven; wait 5-10 minutes before serving.
You have to serve this dish in its cooking pan.

Note

  • - If you want, you can substitute traditional béchamel sauce with a light version. We have 2 recipes. In this case we suggest to use the recipe with cornstarch and milk.
  • - Another little suggestion: use beaten eggs (about 2) among the layers of pasta instead of béchamel. It's a tradition in Abruzzo to make pasta pie using beaten eggs instead of béchamel sauce. This helps to reduce calories!
  • - Do you know how tasty is this dish if you have some pieces left and warm them up?
  • - We know there are a lot of gluttons around the world, Italy included. So we suggest you a complete menu whose main dish is lasagne. Consult it if you have a special occasion menu to plan (Italian dinner menu for special occasion).

Healthy eating

  • - This recipe is full of fats, calories and proteins. The best thing would be to serve it as one-plate meal; you can serve a seasonal salad after this dish and fresh fruit. But we beg you not to eat such a rich-calorie dish very often.
  • - We use to make some variations to my grandmother's recipe to reduce fat and calories.
    We prepare the meat and tomato sauce without sauteing anything. In other words we put all the ingredients together into the pan. Besides we use olive oil (4 tablespoons) instead of the butter. And we add the olive oil only when the sauce is ready, after switching off the gas. We don't use the vegetable stock and so we cooked it for only 30 minutes. In Italy nowadays we prefer to reduce the time cooking to preserve better the nutritional characteristics of the ingredients.

What's the right wine for " My grandmother’s lasagna recipe "?

Our suggestion is: Lambrusco (red wine from Italy)

Loretta & Carlo