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Nonna's Lasagna

Nonna's Family Style Lasagna

Serves 6 - 8

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This recipe is a family favorite, often served for special occasions, and Sunday dinners. A tasty tomato sauce and creamy mozzarella are layered between delicate homemade egg noodles. Topping it all off is a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and tiny meatballs.


1 (26)oz. Can Tomato Puree

1 (6)oz. Can Tomato Paste

1 Pound Ground Beef

1 Egg

1/3 Cup Fresh Bread Crumbs

1 Pound Pork Bones

3 Cloves Garlic Minced

1/2 Onion, Finely Chopped

3/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley

3 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Basil

1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano

Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes

Salt & Pepper

1 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese

6 (oz) Mozzarella Cheese, Thinly Sliced

Pasta Dough:

4 Cups Unbleached Flour

5 Extra Large Eggs

Pinch of Salt

Mound the flour onto a large board, making a hollow in the center. Break the eggs one at a time, mixing the egg into the flour with a fork. Once all the eggs have been incorporated into the flour, begin to knead with your hands until the dough is stiff and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 30 minutes before using. To roll by hand as Nonna Lina does, flatten your dough ball into a disc shape, and on a lightly floured surface, begin to roll back and forth with your rolling pin, exerting a fair amount of pressure. Continue rolling from different angles to obtain a rectangle type of shape. Dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking, turn the dough over a few times while rolling. Continue in this fashion, reducing the pressure exerted on the dough as it begins to thin. Once it has reached the desired thickness, dust lightly with flour and set on clean kitchen towels until you are ready to use it. Lasagna noodles should be rolled very thin, to a thickness of about 1/8 of an inch.

If you prefer using a pasta roller to prepare your pasta, begin by cutting off a piece of the dough the size of your fist. Flatten by hand, flour well, and start by rolling this piece through the rollers at their widest setting. Fold the dough in from each end reducing its size to 1/3. Repeat this process for about 6-7 times, folding, and flouring the dough as needed to prevent sticking. The dough is now ready to be thinned. Decreasing the roller notches by one each time, pass the dough through the rollers until you have the thickness required. After rolling, cut into 12 inch long strips. Precook in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place in ice water. Dry and set aside on clean kitchen towels.

To make the sauce, divide the ground beef in half, placing one half in a bowl. Place the other half in a saucepan with the pork bones over medium heat and cook until well browned. Add the onion and continue cooking until it is tender. Add the garlic and stir well, cooking an additional minute. Finally add the sauce, paste and 1 cup of water. Next add the oregano, 1/2 cup of the parsley, the basil, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Taking the rest of the ground beef, add the egg, bread crumbs, 1/4 parsley, and salt and pepper. Add a little milk to the bread crumbs before using if they are very dry. Mix well and then roll into small 1 inch sized meatballs. Drop carefully in the sauce. Continue cooking the sauce for about 2 hours over low heat, adding additional water as needed if the sauce becomes too thick. Remove the meatballs and the pork bones from the sauce with a slotted spoon and place into a small bowl when the sauce is complete.

To assemble the lasagne, add about 1/2 cup of sauce to the bottom of a large lasagne pan. Add a little water and mix. Make an overlapping layer of the noodles across the bottom of the pan. Spread a large spoonful of sauce on top, making sure the noodles are well covered. Add one more layer of noodles and sauce, and then add a layer of the mozzarella slices. Continue in this manner until you have 5 layers. On the top, cover the noodles well with the sauce, place another layer of mozzarella, then sprinkle on the parmesan. To finish, evenly place the meatballs across the top surface. Cover with foil, and bake in a preheated 375 degree F. oven for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook another 10 minutes. Let rest an additional 10 minutes before serving.

Nonna Lina ~ 2003

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