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I’ve been going through old family recipes recently and when I stumbled across my Nona’s (authentic) Lasagna Recipe, it stopped me in my tracks. I have my old standby recipe, but this one, is truly something special. Mind you, its not a recipe you cook on a whim, it takes time. Lots of time. This recipe is truly a labor of love ! And if I’m ever asked, THIS is what love tastes like! Its rich and cheesy and the best melding of italian flavors ever. I made this beauty over the weekend, and while it’ll be a long time before I endeavor this one again, it was worth every minute of the work.
My grandmother (Nona) was like every Sicilian Italian grandmother you might have ever met. Kind, loving and the minute you walked through the door, the smells from the kitchen were always heavenly. The first words out of her mouth were (after hello and a kiss) “are you hungry”? I’m making, sugo (sauce), cannoli, bread or what ever happened to be on her plan that day and of course there had to be a taste of what ever it was. Anything else was just unacceptable. She didn’t make this recipe often, but when she did, there were never left overs! My grandmother didn’t read or write english, but she could tell you brands and items she used precisely. I’d spend days in her kitchen on a stool near the sink watching her, asking questions and writing down her recipes. Sometimes it was difficult, as she didn’t really measure anything with a measuring spoon, but rather the palm of her hand. Over the years I’ve made many of her precious recipes, tweaking the tastes and measurments. (my hand size differs greatly from hers then and now)
Set aside a day (or two) to create this, I promise you won’t be disappointed. You can make the sauce on one day, and the remainder on the next. Or spend the day in the kitchen creating. Totally your choice. If you like you can do all the work and pop the casserole dish into the fridge over night and cook the next day.Print
Normally, I’d not suggest you cook pasta with olive oil or anything BUT salt in the water, because the sauce just won’t stick to the noodles. Lasagna noodles are the exception. The tend to stick together and adding a little olive oil to the water stops that. Without a doubt, noodles will break or tear during the cooking and chilling process. Save those pieces! You can use them to patch the spaces when working with your layers.
You’ll need a 15×10 lasagna baking dish.(this is mine).
If you’re not big on clean up, they sell the disposable foil pans in the market, but if you use these be certain your pan is sitting on a firm cookie sheet as you layer your lasagne and transfer it to the stove. you can leave that pan on the cookie sheet to cool, but don’t leave the cookie sheet under it to cook, you’ll have to add time to the cooking process and your lasagne will be tough.
Serve with a side of the italian sausages or save them for a sausage poorboy sandwich.
What’s your favorite family heritage recipe?