Nonna’s Lasagna

This recipe is a family favorite, often served for special occasions that is created with a tasty tomato sauce with tiny meatballs and creamy mozzarella, which are layered between delicate sheets of homemade egg noodles.

You can of course use store bought noodles but the end result will just not be as tender as if you made them yourself. I often vary this recipe by adding a couple of layers of bechamel sauce between layers of the tomato meatball layers which creates a nice creamy texture.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Nonna's Lasagna

Nonna's Lasagna

Yield: Serves 8
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

We make this wonderful lasagna for every family get together and holiday celebration.



  • 1 (26)oz. Can Tomato Puree (I use Pomi strained tomatoes)
  • 1 (6)oz. Can Tomato Paste
  • 1 Pound Ground Beef (Or 1/2 Pound Beef and 1/2 Pound Ground Veal)
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Slices White Bread, Cubed
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Pound Pork Bones
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1/2 Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 3 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Basil
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 6 (oz) Mozzarella Cheese, Thinly Sliced

Pasta Dough:

  • 4 Cups Unbleached Flour
  • 5 Extra Large Eggs
  • Pinch of Salt


  1. To make the pasta, follow the directions for Homemade Egg Pasta. After rolling, cut into 12 inch long strips, then precook in boiling water for 30 seconds and place in ice water.
  2. Dry and set aside on clean kitchen towels.
  3. To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and once hot add the pork bones over medium heat and cook until well browned. Add the onion and continue cooking until it is tender. Add the garlic and stir well, cooking an additional minute. Finally add the puree, paste and 1 cup of water.
  4. Next add the oregano, 1/2 cup of the parsley, the basil, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.
  5. Taking the ground beef (or beef/veal mix), and add the egg, bread crumbs, 1/4 parsley, 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese and salt and pepper. Add the milk to the bread cubes and soak. Once the bread is soft use your fingers to break it up and then add it to the meat mixture. Mix all the ingredients together well with your hands, and then roll into small 1 inch sized meatballs and drop carefully in the sauce.
  6. Continue cooking the sauce for about 2 hours over low heat, adding additional water as needed if the sauce becomes too thick.
  7. Remove the meatballs and the pork bones from the sauce with a slotted spoon and place into a small bowl when the sauce is complete.
  8. To assemble the lasagne, add about 1/2 cup of sauce to the bottom of a large lasagne pan, then add a little water and mix.Make an overlapping layer of the noodles across the bottom of the pan. Spread a large spoonful of sauce on top, making sure the noodles are well covered. Add one more layer of noodles and sauce, and then add a layer of the mozzarella slices. Continue in this manner until you have 5 layers.
  9. On the top, cover the noodles well with the sauce, place another layer of mozzarella, then sprinkle on the parmesan. To finish, evenly place the meatballs across the top surface.
  10. Cover with foil, and bake in a preheated 375 degree F. oven for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook another 10 minutes. Let rest an additional 10 minutes before serving.

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. Hello, I would like to make this ahead and freeze. Would I freeze when assembled but prior to cooking? Also, how long will it keep in a chest freezer?


    1. I make mine and simply thaw it fully before baking. I find when freezing lasagna it is better to add a little more sauce than iusual. I have frozen lasagna for up to three months.

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