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Recipe for family meals :

Nonna's Lasagne

Deborah Mele in FlorenceThis recipe comes from the web site of Deborah Mele, Italian Food Forever.

"My love affair with Italian cooking began almost 30 years ago when I married into a large Italian family, overflowing with talented cooks. Throughout the early years of my marriage, I had the opportunity to learn the basics of Italian cuisine, and to perfect traditional family recipes."

This is a must visit web site - if you would like to learn more then <click here>

"This recipe is a family favorite, often served for special occasions. 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 (I use Pomi strained tomatoes)
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


To make the pasta:

  • After rolling, cut into 12 inch long strips.
  • Pre-cook 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 pre-heated 375ºF oven for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and cook another 10 minutes. Let rest an additional 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 - 8

Deborah Mele
Italian Food Forever

Chi Mangia Bene, Mangia Italiano
(Those Who Eat Well, Eat Italian)

© Deborah Mele, Italian Food Forever