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X Italian Pasta Dishes
Lasagne al Forno (With mozzarella and Parmesan)
Originated from: Italy
Occasion: Special times
Contributed by: Taken from "Italian Cooking" by Dorothy Daly

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To serve 6

For sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. minced beef
1 medium size onion, chopped finely
1 crushed clove of garlic
1 pint water
1 tablespoon tomato paste

For pasta*
1 lb. lasagne or green noodles

For layering
3/4 to 1 lb. Mozzarella or Bel Paese cheese
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan

*For a recipe for home-made lasagna dough and/or green noodles see entry entitled "Home-made Pasta Dough" and "lasagne verdi"


"Heat oil in a heavy frying pan, add the onion and garlic, and when slightly browned, add and brown the minced meat. Blend the tomato paste with a little water, pepper and salt, dilute with the balance of the water and pour slowly over the meat; cover and allow to simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours.

Take 1 lb. lasagne and cook in rapidly boiling salted water, 5 to 7 minutes if the lasagna is home-made, 15 minutes if commercially packaged. Blanch and drain.

Grease an oven glass or earthenware casserole, and in it lay a layer of the cooked lasagne, a layer of meat sauce and a layer of Mozzarella or failing this of Bel Paese. Continue filling the dish in layers until all the ingredients are used up, finishing with the balance of the sauce poured over the finished dish, which should be topped with grated Parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes to medium oven."


This recipe was taken from "Italian Cooking" by Dorothy Daly. It was published by Spring Books in Great Britain. For the complete copyright-free cookbook see www.archive.org....P.S. Of all the six Italian cookbook authors on www.archive.org's current [2010] list Dorothy Daly was the only one who included a lasagna recipe in her collection. That's an incredible feat, meaning of all the six authors, she had a real feel for what native-born Italians really loved. In fact, this particular lasagna recipe comes very close to what my own mother did when I was growing up. I suspect that Daly traveled extensively throughout Italy and did not limit her study of Italian cuisine to the Northern regions as many of the other cookbook authors did that wrote in the same time period. As there is no biography written on Dorothy Daly, why there is not even a Wikipedia entry on this extraordinary woman there is no way of knowing where and with whom she studied Italian cooking, but whatever way she did it, she did a fine job of it. Photo and notes: Mary Melfi.

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