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Classic Lasagna

Marisa has offered us Al's quick tomato sauce. If you have your favorite, use that, even if you have leftovers. It's good to have leftover sauce to use in other recipes. There will be no leftovers of the lasagna.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans Italian style peeled tomatoes, with juice


  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound lean ground pork
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Pasta Assembly

  • 1 pound dried lasagna
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano or Pecorino cheese (or both combined)
  • 1 pound sliced mozzarella
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh ricotta


Warm oil in large pot or Dutch oven. Stir in onion and garlic. When onion is softened, about 10 minutes, add peeled tomatoes and their juice. Break up tomatoes as the sauce cooks.

While sauce is cooking, mix beef, pork fennel, salt and pepper together and form into meatballs a little larger than golf balls.

When sauce boils, add meat balls. Let sit before stirring to harden meatballs. Bring to a hard boil, then lower flame and cook, partially covered for 1 hour, stirring deep in pot from time to time. When finished, remove meatballs and chop into small pieces.

Cook lasagna in abundant boiling water. When not quite al dente, stop cooking, drain and lay each noodle on a damp towel in preparation for assembling.

Preheat oven 350°F.

Using a baking dish about 2 inches deep, coat bottom of dish sparingly with tomato sauce. Line with layer of lasagna. Dot with spoonsful of ricotta, slices of mozzarella. Sprinkle lightly with grated cheese, spread with sauce, then add chopped meatball. Repeat layers in same order ending the top layer with pasta,. Spread this last layer with tomato sauce and grated cheese.

Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake in preheated 350°F oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil and cook additional 30 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Serves: 6 - 8

Contributor: Marisa Viola for Al Viola

article on Sicilian cooking    more sicilian recipes           back to super bowl recipes

The use of ricotta cheese makes this lasagna a southern lasagna. Every Sicilian immigrant in the US makes this form of lasagna, though it originated in northern Italy.


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