This is a quick and easy version of my Mama Carmela’s famous Easter Lasagna. The addition of hard-boiled eggs and sliced meatballs were influenced by her northern Italian background and make this dish extra delicious and one of a kind! I made this recipe “today” friendly for ease of preparation by using good-quality bottled sauce instead of her traditional homemade. I will share her homemade pasta sauce with meatballs within the coming weeks. For now, this is a wonderful alternative dedicated to today’s busy, weekend, gourmet Italian chefs. Buon Appetito!
2 quarts tomato sauce, homemade or good quality bottled, marinara or meat
2 boxes (16-ounces) no boil lasagna noodles
1 pound of homemade meatballs; cooked or frozen; heated, sliced in 3rds
1 large container of whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 raw egg slightly beaten
1/2 pound grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 pound grated Pecorino Romano
1 bunch parsley, leaves chopped
1 bunch basil, chiffonade
16-ounces mozzarella, shredded
7 hard boiled eggs, cut in half
Salt & fresh cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
In a deep, rectangular lasagna pan, add a medium thick layer of tomato sauce to the bottom. Then layer the lasagna noodles evenly across the bottom of the pan to cover the entire surface, about 4 sheets of no boil noodles Top with sliced meatballs, and another layer of lasagna noodles, add another layer of sauce to the top of the noodles.
Mix ricotta cheese with ¼ cup each of parmesan and romano cheese, the beaten egg, ½ cup each of parsley and basil, chopped fine, salt and pepper to taste. Use this mixture as your next layer. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Then place in the hard boiled eggs, cut sides up. Top with another layer of noodles and another heavy layer of sauce. Finish with remaining grated parmesan and romano cheeses. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 1 hour or until bubbling.
Uncover and let cool and set for at least 1/2 hour before cutting so lasagna can absorb the liquid released by the cheeses. Top with extra tomato sauce and chopped fresh parsley and or basil right before serving.
Makes: 9-12 main course portions