La Grande Lasagna Di Carnevale


6 tablespoons butter
3 mediums onions, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground veal
2 cups red wine
2 cups beef broth/stock
1/4 cup Italian parsely, finely chopped
For the meatballs:
1 pound ground veal
1 prosciutto, finely chopped
3 Jumbo eggs, slightly beaten
Butter to saute'
3 tablespoons Italian parsley
1/4 pound prosciutto (in one big piece), then finely chopped up
1/4 pound Italian Genoa salami, cut in 3 slices, then finely chopped


Saute' the onions, carrots, celery and garlic in the butter.
After about 5 minutes and the vegetables are softened a bit, add the ground meats. Add the salt and pepper, the tomato sauce, wine, broth/stock, and parsley. Simmer this mixture slowly for approximately 2 1/2 hours, adding another 1/2 cup of beef broth/stock to your desired thickness . . . which this should be fairly thick.
Next prepare the meatballs (Polpette alla Napoletana), which is one of the major reasons why this lasagna is so unusual:
Chop up the prosciutto.
With your (clean) hands, mix the 4 meats and Parmigiana cheese together. Add the parsley, garlic and bread crumbs.
Add the beaten egg. Check moisture level: if too wet, add more bread crumbs. Form this mixture into very small 1/2" to 1" size meatballs.
Saute' the meatballs in butter (about 2 Tbsp.) for 10 minutes, stirring so all sides of the meatballs are cooked.
Remove from butter and place on a plate. Use an absorbent towel if desired and then keep the meatballs warm.
Next make the white cheese sauce by blending 2 cups Ricotta cheese, 3 tbs Italian parsley, and 1 jumbo egg.
Pre-heat oven to 360 degrees (180 C).
In a LARGE deep pot, boil some slightly salted water.
Partially cook the lasagna noodles HALF of the time indicated on the box (they continue to cook in the oven). Remove the noodles from the water and in a colander, run COLD water over the noodles.
Butter or spray with olive oil, a DEEP lasagna pan.
Lay a very thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan to help prevent the first layer of noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Lay the first layer of lasagna noodles onto the sauce . . . overlapping each noodle just a little bit.
Spread a thin layer of of the Ricotta/egg/parsley mixture. Evenly spread a layer of meatballs. Sprinkle a layer of the chopped prosciutto and salami.
With a large ladle or spoon, pour on a layer of the bolognese sauce on top. Sprinkle a thin layer of Mozzarella. Sprinkle a thin layer of Parmigiana cheese.
REPEAT until all ingredients are used up. Bake for 30 minutes.




La Grande Lasagna di Carnevale is a traditional dish served during the weeks before Lent that Americans call Mardi Gras. This is a very unusual and GRAND version of Lasagna with the addition of a layer of meatballs, a layer of chopped prosciutto and salami. It is quite a celebration entree.

This makes about 4 batches of meatballs, so divide up what you do not use and FREEZE them for using later.




Wednesday, February 3, 2010 - 7:28am


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