Holiday Lasagna Recipe at Marina Orsini

This text is part of a special book Plaisirs

For those who, like Marina Orsini’s mother, want to win Best Lasagna this Christmas!

“I can’t count the times in my life I’ve been asked for my mom’s lasagna recipe! Here it is, says Marina Orsini. Here it is! It’s a recipe we made with Riccardo, my mom and me. He invited us to his show 20 years ago. One of the very rare times he’s had to prepare the same.” The recipe over 2 episodes! They still talk to me about that day! To make this recipe is to embark on a one day (or ideally two days) long adventure. The idea is to let the sauces rest to assemble the next day. On the palate, it’s a unique and unforgettable experience. »

Prepare : 5 hours (more than 2 days!)

cooking : 3 o’clock

sortions : 30 as a starter, 16 to 20 as a main course


To prepare the lasagna
1 preparation of small meatball sauce

1 preparation of tomato sauce

1 preparation of fresh egg pasta

2.2 to 3.3 pounds (1 to 1.5 kg) shredded mozzarella cheese

2 cups (500 ml) grated Parmesan cheese

6 tablespoons. (90 ml) butter

It is possible to divide the recipe into 3 to make lasagna for 10 people (appetizers) or about 6 people (main course).

For the small meatball sauce


3 cans (28 oz / 796 ml) tomato puree

5.5 oz (156 ml) can of tomato paste

1 1/2 cups (375 ml) water

2 bay leaves

Dried basil as desired

Salt and Pepper

small dumplings

1 pound (750 g) ground veal

1 pound (750 g) ground pork

2 eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup (180 ml) Parmesan cheese, finely grated or powdered

½ cup (60 ml) Italian rusk

1 onion finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

tomato sauce

2 minced onions

3 cloves minced garlic

2 tbsp. (30 ml) olive oil

450gm pork ribs

3 cans (28 oz / 796 ml) tomato puree

5.5 oz (156 ml) can of tomato paste

1 cup (250 ml) water

Italian seasoning, as desired

Fresh egg pasta

15 to 16 cups (3.75 to 4 liters) all-purpose flour

30 large eggs

½ cup to 1 cup (180 to 250 ml) olive oil


1. In a large saucepan over low heat, cook tomatoes, tomato paste, water, bay leaves, basil, salt and pepper.

2. Bring to a boil and simmer while preparing the small meatballs.

3. In a bowl, combine meat, eggs, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and onions. Salt and Pepper.

4. Shape meatballs the size of a 5 inch or 2 cm coin.

5. Put the meatballs as you go and in small quantities in the sauce over a low heat.

6. Cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes over low heat, stirring gently so as not to damage the meatballs.

7. Once cooking is complete, set aside to assemble the lasagna.

8. In a large saucepan over medium heat, fry the onions and garlic in the oil.

9. Add the ribs and fry until brown on each side for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water and Italian seasoning. Salt and Pepper.

10. Cook for 2 hours over low heat or until meat is tender, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.

11. Remove the ribs. (You can enjoy them at another time, as they serve only to add flavor to your sauce!)

12. Keep the lasagna assembled (or serve it with your favorite pasta, accompanied by the ribs!).

13. In a very large bowl, put the flour.

14. Make a hole in the center of the flour.

15. Add eggs to the center of the well, mix the flour little by little, whisking with a fork. Then you will use your hands.

16. Pour the oil slowly, in a drop. Mix well to form a paste.

17. Place the dough on a work surface and knead until smooth.

18. Cover with a clean, slightly damp cloth and leave for 15 minutes.

19. Knead again for 3-5 minutes.

20. Cut the dough into slices 2.5 cm thick, and flatten them a little.

21. Pass the pieces through the pasta machine (roller), making sure to get the thinnest lasagna possible and the same length as the baking dish, except for the first layer. For the first layer, my mother made the pasta larger in width and length (enough to allow it to fold at the end of the lasagna assembly).

22. Spread the lasagna on a table with a cotton tablecloth or hang it on the handles of a broom or even a drying rack. Leave it to dry for a maximum of 20 to 35 minutes, otherwise the pasta will be very dry and brittle.

23. In a large pot of salted water (almost like sea bass), cook the pasta for only 3-4 minutes, as the remaining cooking will continue in the oven.

24. Drain, cut to size in baking dish, and combine lasagna.

When it comes out of the boiling water, gently immerse the pasta in a large dish of ice water for a few seconds to stop cooking. At this point, my mom and I were ready to assemble the lasagna. Don’t wait, as cooked and refrigerated pasta may spoil.

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).

2. Grease a large roasting pan with high sides (12″ x 18″ x 4″, or 30cm x 45cm x 10cm). Pour 4 scoops of tomato sauce. Also add a little softened butter.

3. For the first layer only, use the lasagna noodles that are longer in width and length to set the bottom and let them hang down on each side, 6 inches (15 cm) wide and 12 inches (30 cm) long.

4. Continue alternating meatball sauce, cooked lasagna noodles, tomato sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella, so you have a total of 11 to 17 layers (depending on the cooking dish, this is 5 to 8 layers of pasta and 6 to 9 layers of sauces and cheese) .

5. We finish with tomato sauce, cover the first pasta from the bottom, like wrapping a gift, add a little sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

6. Cover it with foil.

7. Bake on the lower rack for 1 hour and 50 minutes.

greedy ! My family recipes Marina Orsini, Quebec America Editions, Montreal, 2022, 248 pages

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