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Recipe for the Lasagna Abruzzesi

This is the official recipe for the famous lasagna from the Abruzzo region in Italy. The Abruzzesi lasagna is a lasagna made with meat, prosciutto and meatballs; to help with planning, the meatballs needed in this lasagna can be prepared the day before, as for a few more steps, such as preparing the sauce etc... This recipe serves 4 generous portions.


a Lasagna di carnevale slice

Ingredients for the meatballs:

2/3 lb. ground beef or veal
3 eggs
4 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
salt and pepper
1 lb. Mozzarella cheese, cut in slices
3 poached eggs, cut in small bits
2 tablespoons butter

Ingredients for the meat sauce:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/3 lb. Prosciutto, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup red wine
3 cups ( 1 liter ) marinara or tomato sauce, sauce store-bought or homemade marinara recipe
salt and pepper

and also, do not forget: 1 lb. lasagna pasta, boiled for 5 minutes

Making the meat sauce:

Heat up the olive oil in a large skilet under medium setting.
Add the beef and the prosciutto cubes and saute until the meat is browned, for 3-4 minutes.
Pour in the wine and allow it to reduce, for 3 minutes.
Mix in the marinara sauce, add salt and pepper;
preheat the oven at 400° F or 200° Celcius. Which leads to the next part:

Making the meatballs:

With the oven heating up, mix the veal, the eggs and the romano cheese in a large bowl
Add salt and pepper to the mix.
Form the meatballs about the size and shape of a hazelnut.
Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook the whole thing in same skillet the sauce was in for 10 minutes.

Final steps: the lasagna takes shape

Grease up with olive oil a large and deep lasagna pan.
Lay down in the pan the first layer of lasagna pasta,
top the pasta with a nice layer of sauce, which will be topped by the mozzarella cheese slices
spread on top the poached egg bits and some romano cheese
Lay more pasta on top and repeat the process so you have 5 layers of pasta
On top you will have the last layer of mozzarella and romano. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the top cheese layer browns a bit, with a nice 'au gratin' finish...

Once baked, allow the lasagna to cool down for 20 minutes prior to serving.

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