Grandma’s Lasagna

If you’re Italian, you might have a habit of showing people you love them by cooking for them. One of the first recipes that I learned to create was my grandma’s lasagna. Stacked high with layers of ricotta, cheeses, sauce, and pasta, it is a dish that not only fills up my stomach, but fills me with warm, happy memories and feelings. Now that I have a family of my own, I feel those same warm feelings while making them lasagna.

this lasagna looks SO good! Original recipe from blogger's great grandma, this thing is the real deal.

Okay so this is actually my great-grandma’s lasagna and my grandma wasn’t Italian at all. When my grandma, Louise, was younger, she moved up from southern Indiana to Chicago, where she met and married my Italian grandpa, Joe. They lived in a flat in a building shared with my great-grandparents and other relatives. While living there, my great-grandma taught my grandma how to make traditional Italian dishes. My grandma taught my mom. Who taught me. A recipe spanning 4 generations and possibly more.

Grandma and Grandpa, September 1962

Grandma and Grandpa, September 1962

While I usually only make it for special occassions or birthdays, this lasagna is pretty easy to make and once you make it, it is easy to remember. The secret to a thick, fluffy filling is the eggs: the more the better. Usually you want to use around 8-12 eggs for every pound of ricotta.

this lasagna looks SO good! Original recipe from blogger's great grandma, this thing is the real deal.

I bought the Arrabiata sauce, Italian seasoning, and wine (to accompany our meal) at World Market. I love their Italian food selection (as well as their aisles and aisles of other International foods). The square dishes are from their white square coupe collection.

The Arrabiata sauce was DELICIOUS! It has a bit of a spicy kick to it and added a new twist to the favorite dish. And how cute is this mini colander? I have a few. Only 1.99!

LOVE this little cute colander! Would be perfect for berries.

The secret to the lasagna is the layering. Do it like this: sauce, noodles, ricotta/egg mixture, cheese, noodles, sauce, cheese. Using a big roaster or dutch oven like mine? Add some more layers: noodles, ricotta/egg mixture, noodles, sauce, cheese.

this lasagna looks SO good! Original recipe from blogger's great grandma, this thing is the real deal.

Grandma’s Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 1 box lasagna noodles
  • 16 eggs
  • 2 lbs ricotta cheese
  • 2 T Italian Seasoning mix
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 bag fresh spinach
  • 2 24oz jars sauce
  • mozzarella, parmesan, and other Italian cheeses

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Boil noodles in large pot until al dente, about 8 minutes. Rinse in cold water and set aside.
  3. Crack and beat eggs.
  4. Stir in ricotta cheese and mix well. Add Italian seasoning and salt.
  5. Break up fresh spinach into bit sized pieces and add to mixture.
  6. Coat pan with olive oil or spray.
  7. Spread thin layer of marinara sauce on bottom of pan.
  8. Layer ingredients as follows: sauce, noodles, ricotta/egg mixture, cheese, noodles.
  9. If using a 13x9, top with cheese.
  10. If using a deep dutch oven or roaster, repeat layers and top with cheese.
  11. Cover and bake at 375 for an hour.
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And when you’re done, you’ll have this delicious layered goodness.

this lasagna looks SO good! Original recipe from blogger's great grandma, this thing is the real deal.

So good your grandma would be proud. So good you’ll want to have everyone over for dinner. So good that you’ll want to don an apron and smoosh everyone’s cheeks and hug-squeeze them till they roll their eyes and go limp. No? Just my family does that? Okay, then. :)

this lasagna looks SO good! Original recipe from blogger's great grandma, this thing is the real deal.

 

What are your favorite family recipes?

Comments

  1. Ashley D says

    So, I’m reading this, while I’m sitting here eating my carrots and homemade ranch. And somehow this snack is just not cutting it any longer. That looks so yummy. I see a grocery trip in my near future. :)

  2. says

    I don’t know why we always save lasagna for special occasions when like you said it really isn’t that complicated and it’s so delicious. Your version has me drooling and with 4 generations you can’t go wrong. :)

  3. says

    OMG that lasagna looks mouth-watering! I will purchase a roaster oven next month as our current oven is not functioning anymore then I will cook lasagna using your recipe for the whole family. They love Italian dishes! Thank you for sharing this!

    • says

      thank you, Deedee! I’m happy I have a place to share it. It works great in the roaster, that’s how my grandma always made it. You might need more ingredients though, lol :)

      enjoy! let me know how they like it

  4. Viola says

    This is the american version,not the original recipe at all.Arrabbiata sauce,”italian seasoning”,”marinara sauce” (I don’t know what they are)and eggs don’t belong to lasagne recipe.It’s pasta that’s made of eggs and flour. Anyway,it’s a lovely memory for you and I respect it.If you wanna try real lasagne (two traditional versions,with meat or with spinach)have a look

    http://ricette.giallozafferano.it/Lasagne-alla-Bolognese.html
    http://blog.giallozafferano.it/mammafernanda/lasagne-al-pesto-di-spinaci/

  5. Helene says

    The recipe handed down to me was 2 eggs per lb of ricotta and sauce was homemade… Kinda wonder about your Grandma using sauce from a jar. Not that I am opposed to that :) Wonder also with so many eggs the ricotta is more like a touch of rather than a CHEESE. Will probably try it anyway,

    • says

      Are you sure my grandma didn’t send you here to correct me on that? :) She always made homemade sauce; the kind that cooked all day with neckbones in it, mmmmm. I need to fix the post, thanks for calling that to my attention! (She’s probably up in heaven thinking “stop telling all those people to use a jar!” haha)

      You are absolutely right, the ricotta part is more like a fluffy version of ricotta rather than cheese-like. Let me know what you think! Thanks for commenting, Helene. It brought back some memories and gave me a big smile.

      • Jenni says

        I have to say I was so relieved to see the jars of sauce in the picture because I use jars when I make my lasagna, it is so much faster and still tastes great. I used to make a homemade sauce but for the time involved I don’t think it was that good.

      • Helene says

        I can smell the sauce which was like a little bit of heaven. Not so easy to get the neck bones now though lol Thank you for bringing White House Black Shutters into my life

  6. Joanne says

    This is very similar to the recipe that was handed down to me! Although I have the 2 eggs per lb of ricotta and then mix the other cheeses in as well. So the layers become sauce, noodles, cheese/ricotta/egg mixture, noodles. I think someone was taking a shortcut along the way!

    • Joanne says

      I also double the recipe and make two lasagnas at a time. It freezes very well for another time when I don’t feel like making one.

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