the lasagna recipes

The Traditional Italian Calabrese Lasagna

Contrary to popular belief, italian lasagna recipes are often prepared without bechamel sauce, and this is coming from a trusted Calabrian source. To make calabrese lasagna, choose ground meat (beef or veal) that is lean or low in fat. The noodles are cooked when they curl on top, the meatballs and sauce can be prepared the day before.


For 6 persons:
* 1 lb. lean ground meat (beef or veal)
* 1/2 lb. of italian sausage
* 1 lb. of pre-cooked, no boil lasagna
* 6 eggs (of which 3 hardboiled)
* 1 cup grated Parmesan
* 3 cans of 8 oz. (237 g) peeled tomatoes
* 3 tablespoons tomato paste
* 8 tablespoons breadcrumbs
* 1 clove of garlic
* 1 onion
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* parsley
* Salt and pepper
* 2 knobs of butter


Preparing the meatballs

1) Making the Meatballs: Break 3 eggs over the meat, press in the clove of garlic, cover with breadcrumbs and sprinkle with one quarter of the grated Parmesan, add parsley, salt and pepper and mix everything by hand (a technique from Calabria). Check the mixture and add more Parmesan and/or bread crumbs if needed (the meat mixture must have taste!). In a well oiled frying pan, fry the meatballs and set aside.

Making the tomato sauce

2 - In the saucepan, sauté the chopped onion in a tablespoon of olive oil. Add meatballs without breaking and the 3 tomatoes cans. Break up the tomatoes by mixing with a spatula to avoid breaking the meatballs. Add the tomato paste and about 2 cup hot water. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer in the pan leaving a little opening to allow water to evaporate. The sauce is ready when all the water has evaporated.

Putting the lasagna together

3 - Grease up the lasagna pan you will be using. Chop the 3 hard boiled eggs and the sausage into small pieces, and mix.

Place a first layer of sauce at the bottom of the pan. Place a layer of lasagna noodles to cover all of the sauce, spread another layer of sauce by adding a few pieces of hard boiled eggs, sausage and Parmesan. Repeat to the top of the dish, finishing with a layer of sauce with egg, sausage and Parmesan; sprinkle the parmesan you have left on top.

Bake about 30 minutes in the oven, preheated at 350 °F.

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