the lasagna recipes

Lasagne con polpettine recipe

Difficulty: Medium
Portions: 6-8
Preparation: 45 min
Baking time: 40 min

Polpettine are small italian meatballs, made from ground pork and beef meat. Many genuine lasagna recipes in Italy are actually made with meatballs, which isn't necessarily what North American Italians are showing us...


* 3/4 lb. ground beef meat
* 3/4 lb. ground pork meat
* 1 Egg - large or 2 small ones
* Bread crumbs from white bread
* 8 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
* 2 tablespoons fresh parsley - chopped
* 3 cloves garlic - crushed
* Salt & pepper
* 4 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 Onion - finely chopped
* 1 Carrot - finely chopped
* 1 stalk celery - finely chopped
* 2 (16 oz) cans of diced tomatoes
* 2 teaspoons fresh oregano - finely chopped
* 8 No boil dry lasagna noodles, or as needed

Ingredients for the Bechamel Sauce
* 1/2 cup milk
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 sprig fresh thyme
* 4 tablespoons butter
* 1/2 cup all purpose white flour
* Nutmeg - freshly grated if available

Recipe for 4 portions


1) Start by preparing the meatballs. Put half of the ground beef and half of the pork in a large bowl. Add the egg, bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, half the parsley and half the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well and knead the meat mixture by hand to achieve a smooth texture and slightly sticky.

2) With your bare hands, take small chunks of this meat mixture and form 30 small meatballs, the size of a walnut shell in the palm. Place the meatballs on a plate and cool them in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

3) Meanwhile, pour the milk in the bechamel sauce in a saucepan. Chop the bay leaf before mixing it in the milk, add the thyme and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and reserve.

4) Prepare the meat sauce. Heat half the oil in a saucepan. Add onion, carrot, celery and remaining garlic. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring, until vegetables are soft.

5) Add remaining meat (2 x 100 g) and cook over low heat 10 minutes, stirring frequently and breaking meat if it has a tendency to amalgamate. Add salt & pepper. Add tomatoes, parsley and remaining oregano or basil. Stir well, cover and simmer 45 to 60 minutes, stirring regularly.

6) Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in large nonstick skillet. When hot, cook the meatballs in several tours, over medium high, 5-8 minutes, ensuring that they are golden on all sides. Shake the pan occasionally so that the pellets do not stick. While the others cooked, transfer each round on paper towel to drain the oil. Preheat oven to 350 °F;

7) Now turning back to the bechamel sauce, pass the milk through a strainer to remove the pieces of bay leaf and thyme.

8) Melt the butter in a saucepan, add flour and heat up for one or two minutes, stirring constantly. Pour the milk gradually, stirring constantly, until your mixture is smooth and has a thick consistency. Grate a little bit of nutmeg, to taste then add salt & pepper. Whisk vigorously and remove from heat.

9) Line the bottom of a large lasagna pan with a good layer of meat sauce. Put in half the meatballs. Spoon 1/3 of the béchamel and cover with half the lasagna noodles. Repeat this once again over the lasagna noodles layer, and finish with a layer of meat sauce followed by a layer of béchamel. Divide the rest of the grated Parmesan (6 tablespoons) by sprinkling it over the lasagna, trying to cover it evenly.

10) Bake the lasagna in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top cheese has a nice golden brown, and makes small bubbles.

Let stand 10 minutes before serving. When serving, do not forget to decorate each meatballs lasagna plate with parsley...

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