We all know how good Italian cuisine is. I want to open this session of my blog with a celebration to it. This is my grandma and mom’s recipe for Lasagna. We usually make during Carnival (February) as it is extremely rich an colourful. It does take time. But in a fulfilling, almost cathartic way. Sometimes I like to do it when I am stressed or upset, and surprisingly, its long and accurate making turn my mood around. So get ready for a four-hour long purifying journey.
Lasagna di Carnevale – serves six
Ingredients for Meatballs
300 gr. minced beef
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
2 spoons of grated parmesan cheese
a handful of breadcrumbs
a bit of minced parsley
Beat the egg for just few seconds in a large bowl. Add the minced meat, breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, parmesan and black pepper. Mix the whole with your hands till the ingredients are well integrated. Then, take a pinch of the mix at the time and start working the meatballs. They must be small! Possibly not larger than a finger tip. The reason is, these will go among the layers, and you do not want your lasagna to look like an earthquake.
Ingredients for the sauce – this must be prepared at least one hour in advance.
3 bottles of passata (Italian! De Cecco or Cirio are good brands)
300 gr. sausages
1 chopped onion
Extra virgin olive oil
Cook the onion in the olive oil till it’s golden. Add the sausage and sear it. When brownish, add the passata and add a glass of water. Add the meatballs. Leave to cook at low flame for at least one hour. Add a bit of salt, pepper and basil towards the end. Do not allow it to dry up, try to keep it ‘loose’.
750 gr. Lasagna sheets
500 gr. ricotta
500 gr. chopped mozzarella
300 gr. chopped mortadella (you can use ham if you struggle to find mortadella)
5 boiled and chopped eggs
200 gr. grated parmesan cheese
Take the sausage and meatballs out from the sauce. Chop the sausage. Prepare your table to have the tray in the middle and all the ingredients around it so that it will be easy to assemble. In the meanwhile, warm up the oven at 220° for 10′.
Spread a bit of oil and sauce on the bottom of the tray. Lay the pasta sheets to compose the bottom layer, try not to put the sheets next to each other, but slightly overlapped instead. You can decide how many layers your lasagna will have, therefore use the ingredients accordingly. Two or three layers is usually the norm.
Add the sauce and spread it even on the past sheets, then add all the ingredients in this sequence: parmesan, sausage, meatballs, mortadella, mozzarella, eggs, ricotta.
Repeat for as many layers as you like.
Close with a final layer of pasta and sauce on top.
Cover your tray with foil and pierce it with a fork. Cook for 40′ or 45′.
Once done, remove the foil and add a bit of parmesan, leave to melt in the oven for few minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven and leave the lasagna to rest for about 30 minutes.